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THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 



PRESENTED BY 

PROF. CHARLES A. KOFOID AND 

MRS. PRUDENCE W. KOFOID 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 



By M. a. DONNE, 

AUTHORESS OF " SCENES AND NARRATIVES FROM GERMAN HISTORY, ETC. 



PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF 

THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION, 

APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING 

CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. 



LONDON: 
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE; 

SOLD AT THE DEPOSITORIES: 

77, GREAT QUEEN STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS ; 

4, ROYAL EXCHANGE ; 48, PICCADILLY ; 

AND BY ALL BOOKSELLERS. 



^-Ul^ 



PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET 
AND CHARINO CROS.*. 






CONTENTS. 



INTRODUCTION. 

PAGK 
THE TENTH OF MARCH, 1863 ........ 7 

CHAPTER I. 

Denmark in general, and Holstein in particular, 
denmark on the map op europe — its size and 
population — its divisions — connection between 
danes and englishmen — the first settlement of 
danes in england — the second — the third — 
danish language and surnames — how to get to 
denmark — altona to kiel — kiel harbour ant) 
town — the danebrog — beech-w^oods — legend of 
tpe cuckoo— amusements of the danes ... 12 

CHAPTER II. 

Farming in Denmark. 

LARGE farms — A DANISH BARN — DRIVING INTO THE 
HOUSE — FARM-LABOURERS— THEIR WAGES— THEIR FOOD 
— THE GIRL WHO TROD UPON BREAD — THE CROPS ON 
A DANISH FARM — HARVEST H03IE — HARROWING IN A 

CIRCLE — RENT OF LAND RETIRING FRO]\r BUSINESS — 

" HAMBURG BEEF " — THE DAIRYMAID— TETHERING COWS 
— THE KIND-HEARTED SOLDIER — HOW THE CA'tTl.E FARE 
ON CHRISTMAS-DAY 26 



M309556 



4 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER III. 

Sleswig, oe South Jutland. 

PAGE 
THE STUHL-WAGEN — TRAVELLING IN DENMARK — THE 
TOWN OP SLESWIG — ST. ANSCAR THE MISSIONARY — 
ALTAR-PIECE OF SLESWIG CATHEDRAL — THE JEALOUS 
MONKS — THE DANEVIRKE — CAUSES OF THE SLESWIG- 
HOLSTEIN WAR — VICTORIES OF THE DANES — PRINCE 
CHRISTIAN APPOINTED HEIR-APPARENT TO THE DANISH 
THRONE — ^HIS DESCENT — HIS CHILDREN — CHARACTER OF 
THE SLESWIG PEOPLE — THEIR EMPLOYMENT — TRADE 
GUILDS — PLENSBORG — SHOPS — THE GOOD BURGHER— 
ANGELN — FRISIA OR DITMAESH— INUNDATION OF 1634 
— PINCHING THE SOW — ADMIRAL TROLLE UPON THE 
DUTY OF A GENTLEMAN 43 



CHAPTER IV. 

Jutland. 

resemblance of the jutland dialect to english — 
queen dagmar — church-building in denmark — 
churchyards and funerals — hans tausen, the 
danish luther— the danish schoolmaster — every 
child sent to school, and confirmed — benefits 
of education — general sobriety — small number 
of paupers — a danish poorhouse — ribe meadow — ■ 
a jutland bog — gipsies — the three birds — a 
farm- yard — a kro — jutland costumes — a danish 
dinner — the eider-down pillow — ice-carried 
stones —barrows — the limfiord — the agger c.\nal 
— a danish prophecy — the skaw — randers' salmon 
— the himmelberg — cats' castle 64 



CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER V. 

Copenhagen. 

PAGE 
COPENHAGEN FROM THE WATER — THREEFOLD DIVISION OF 
THE CITY — ITS FORTIFICATIONS— BATTLE OF 1801 — 
BOMBARDMENT OF 1807 — ISLE OF AMAK — THE OLD 
TOWN — ANECDOTE OF PETER THE GREAT — ADMIRAL 
WESSEL — HOLBERG — THORWALDSEN — SHOPS AND SHOP- 
PING — THE NEW TOWN — OUTSIDE THE CITY — THE 
THEATRE IN DENMARK — THE THORWALDSEN MUSEUM — 
STATUES IN THE FRUE KIRK — CHRISTIANSBORG PALACE 
— MUSEUIVI OF NORTHERN ANTIQUITIES — THE DAGMAR 
CROSS— COURT OF RECONCILIATION — A BAD BARGAIN — 
CASTLE OF ROSENBORG — ALLIANCES BETWEEN THE 
ROYAL FAMILIES OF ENGLAND AND DENMARK — THE 
KING AND HIS MASTIFF— NATIONAL SONG OF DENMARK 89 

CHAPTER VI. 

The Danish Isles. 

the sound — the great belt — the little belt — 
coast scenery among the islands — the yikings — 
seamen and fishermen — climate of denmark — 
occupations of the islanders — character — polite- 
ness—prudence — love of fairy tales, legends, 
etc.— nisses — trolles— the woman who prayed 
not to die — ^holger the dane — kronborg — frede- 
ricsborg — bernstorf palace — roeskilde — the 
dragon of roeskilde fiord — the fearless bishop — 

RINGSTED — QUEEN DAGMAr'S TOMB — LORD DERBY UPON 
DENMARK — CONCLUSION 116 



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DENMAEK AND- ITS PEOPLE. 



INTEODUCTION. 



I AM going to refer my readers to the 10th of 
March, 1863 ; a day that, I am sure, they will 
recall with pleasm-e; a day that shone upon a 
nation's freewill offering of love and gratitude to 
her rulers ; a day on which Great Britain re- 
joiced with heart and voice ; I need hardly add 
that I refer to the day of the happy union between 
the Princess Alexandra of Denmark and our own 
royal Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. 

On this joyful occasion, the inhabitants of the 
little town of Elmton had determined not to be 
behind, their neighbours in giving vent to their 
loyal and patriotic feelings ; and right well did 
they keep their resolution. 

With the first dawn of daylight the whole 
town seemed to be astir ; and the sun rose — not 
upon the usual dull line of smoke-stained brick 
and stucco — but upon a mass of evergreens and 
flowers, plumes, streamers, and bunting, such as 



8 INTRODUCTION. 

Elmton had never displayed before within the 
memory of Hving man. From the cottage of the 
poor old bedridden widow at one end of the town 
to the squire's house at the opposite end, there 
was not a single dwelling in the long street, of 
which the town of Elmton consists, that did not 
show something in the way of decoration. Even 
the blackened rows of elm-trees, from which the 
town derives its name, had been roused from their 
winter slumbers to have their bare arms covered 
with festoons, garlands, and banners. 

" I'll tell you what, my friends," was the tes- 
timony of the old sexton, as he passed up the 
street to open the church for the first merry peal ; 
— '^ there has not been a prince or princess 
born, married, or died, these sixty years, but I've 
rung him in and out, — but in all my days I never 
saw a sight like this before." 

And now, reader, if you think I am going to 
give you a minute description of all that Elmton 
did, and said, and thought on that happy day, I 
am afraid you will be disappointed. Suffice it to 
say, that — At eleven o'clock, a large congregation 
assembled in the fine old parish church, to thank 
G-od for His mercies to our nation, and to seek 
His blessing upon our young prince and princess. 

At one, half the inhabitants of our little town 
were feasted by the remaining half. 

The afternoon was spent in a variety of games, 



INTRODUCTION. \) 

which seemed to afford equal pleasure to rich and 
poor. 

As the evening closed in, the town was paraded 
by a torchlight procession of volunteers, headed 
by their band. 

And our rejoicings were carried far into the 
night by means of a general illumination. 

It was the first time that Elmton had ever 
produced a gas star, and the admiration of the 
crowd at it was great. But higher still rose the 
applause when the torchlight procession came to 
the end of its round, and each man threw his 
still burning torch on the monster heap that had 
been prepared for the Elmton bonfire. Then, as 
the flames leaped, and crackled, and blazed, 
hurrah after hurrah rent the air, and it was not 
till a whole load of stubble and three hundred 
faggots had been well-nigh consumed, that the 
bandmaster could find the opportunity of a mo- 
mentary lull, in which to lead off the well-known 
strain that never fails to stir the hearts of 
Englishmen. ** Hats off" was now the cry ; and 
soon, the bandmaster, with admirable tact, moving 
gently forward, contrived to draw the crowd after 
him — till, at length, the smouldering embers of 
the bonfire and the darkened High Street of 
Elmton were left to repose. 

And now, reader, I wiU confide to you, that my 
greatest enjoyment during the day had consisted 



10 INTRODUCTION. 

in watching the gambols of a merry group of 
lads, easily distinguished from their fellows by 
their white and red rosettes. These lads were 
my night-scholars ; and I took praise to myself, 
I assure you, for having provided them with 
the true Danish colours, whereas the inhabit- 
ants of Elmton generally had contented them- 
selves with plain white, or with white reUeved by 
the prince's plume in blue. 

There was no doubt in my mind as to how the 
lads had enjoyed themselves ; but next evening, 
when I saw the eyes of one and another be- 
ginning to droop over the reading-books, I 
brought the lesson to a close somewhat earlier 
than usual, and led the way to a few minutes' 
conversation by the remark, — '^I hope you all 
spent a pleasant day yesterday." 

It is not often that night-school boys venture 
to say much before their teachers, and I had 
expected that my little speech would have been 
answered shortly and shyly ; but instead of this, 
I found that it called forth a chorus of voices, 
and that every scholar had his own exploit or 
story to tell. Will Jones, the sand-boy, had 
gained the bridle in the donkey race. Ned 
Heavyside had climbed to within a foot of the 
leg of mutton at the top of the pole. Joe Sharp 
had all but carried off the pig with the greased 
tail. And poor little Charlie Short had spoilt his 



INTRODUCTION. 



11 



favour, not to speak of his best jacket, by jump- 
ing for the treacled rolls. 

All this and much more I heard ; and then our 
conversation came to a pause, and I observed one 
lad nudging another, till the sign had passed round 
to Tom Eule, the carpenter's apprentice, who was 
generally made the spokesman on any important 
occasion. Tom cleared his voice, stood up in his 
place, performed one of his old day-school bows, 
and then came out with — ''Please, ma'am, we 
should be so much obliged to you if you would 
tell us something about the Princess Alexandra's 
country." To this I could not do less than 
answer, " I shall be happy to do the best I can 
for you, my boys. I have never been to Den- 
mark ; but perhaps I may have had the oppor- 
tunity of hearing more travellers' stories and of 
reading more books upon the subject than you 
have: it will give me much pleasure to put 
together what I know about Denmark for your 
benefit, and I think I can promise to give you a 
few short lectures upon it." 

It was according to this promise that, after our 
usual lessons were finished on the next night- 
school evening, I took my class up to the map of 
Europe that was hanging upon the schoolroom 
wall, and spoke to them in words something Uke 
the following : — 



12 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 



CHAPTEE I. 

DENMARK IN GENERAL, AND HOLSTEIN IN 
PARTICULAR. 

" I AM not going to give you a geography lesson 
to-night, my boys ; but you will be able to under- 
stand what I have to tell you about Denmark all 
the better, if you notice first what the map can 
teach you upon the subject. Here is Denmark ; 
to the north of Germany, and to the south of 
Sweden and Norway. It has the North Sea on 
its western side, the Baltic Sea on its eastern, 
and the strait that joins the two seas runs by its 
northern coast. 

" In size and shape it bears some Httle resem- 
blance to Scotland. Let us for a moment com- 
pare the two countries. Each is washed by the 
sea on three sides. Each has numerous islands 
belonging to it. Denmark has a slight advantage 
in position, being about one degree more to the 
south than Scotland. On the other hand, Scot- 
land has the advantage in size, being about one- 
third larger than Denmark. I will add what the 
map does not tell you, that, in proportion to its 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 13 

size, Denmark is as well peopled as Scotland : 
the population of Scotland being a little over 
tln-ee millions, and that of Denmark, including 
Holstein, rather more than two millions and a 
quarter. In one respect the two countries we 
are comparing are very different : Scotland being, 
as you know, a land of mountains, and hills, and 
running streams ; while Denmark is generally 
flat, and has but one river of note — the Eyder, 
which has given its name to eider-ducks and 
eider-down. 

"The Danish dominions in Europe are divided, 
as you may see by the map, into four provinces. 

I. '' The islands, one of which contains Copen- 
hagen, the capital. 

II. "Jutland, the most northern part of the 
mainland. 

III. " Sleswig, or South Jutland. 

IV. " And the Duchies of Holstein and Lauen- 
burg, to the south of Sleswig. 

" Besides these European provinces, Denmark 
possesses the islands of St. Thomas and St. Cross 
in the West Indies; the Faroe Islands to the 
north of Scotland ; and her two ancient colonies 
of Iceland and Greenland on the borders of the 
Arctic Ocean. 

" Holstein, although it is now, and has been 
for many ages, governed by the same ruler as 
Denmark, is not properly speaking a part of the 



14 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

Danish hingdom. It is rather a German duchy, 
held by the king of Denmark in the same way 
that Hanover was held for several generations by 
the kings of England. It is possible that, as 
Hanover was separated from England at the 
accession of Queen Victoria, so Holstein may 
some day be separated from Denmark. The 
people of the duchy generally seem to prefer 
being considered as Germans rather than Danes, 
and as they are Germans by descent and Ger- 
mans in language, they have some reason for 
their preference. 

'' Lauenburg is a small German duchy, lying to 
the south of Holstein. It is held by the King of 
Denmark upon the same terms as the larger duchy. 

" And now that I have given you some general 
idea of the Danish kingdom, let me go on to 
remind you of the reasons which should lead us 
to take a more than ordinary interest in Den- 
mark and its people. First among these, of 
course, is the connection that now so happily exists 
between the royal families of Denmark and Eng- 
land — may it be long continued. But besides 
this, there is an earlier connection, or I may say 
relationship, between the jpeople of Denmark and 
England, that neither of them need wish to 
forget. 

"I will try and explain this to you a little 
further. 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 15 

" Just as England is now sending out colonists 
to Australia, so, once upon a time, Denmark sent 
out colonists to England. And as the English 
people of some generations hence will be related 
to the Australians of their own time, so are we . 
related to the Danes of the present day. 

" There were three separate times in our history 
when Danes came over to settle in England. 
First, about fourteen hundred years ago, came 
the people whom our histories generally call 
Saxons. But the writers of early times tell us 
that the so-called Saxons consisted of many 
different tribes, among which they particularly 
mention the Jutes, Angles, and Frisians. Now 
the Jutes, Angles, and Frisians are all supposed 
to have come from Denmark; and, moreover, the 
untravelled part of their descendants are living 
there to this very day. The name Jutland speaks 
for itself, as being the land of the Jutes; the 
inhabitants of a part of the west, or North Sea 
coast of Denmark are still called Frisians ; while 
Angeln, the country of the Angles, is found on 
the Baltic coast of Slesmg. 

*' Then, as to the second invasion of the Danes ; 
you know that our king Alfred fought against 
them and conquered them, and that he afterwards 
allowed as many of them as chose, to settle in 
England, upon condition of their becoming Chris- 
tians." 



16 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

'^ yes, we read about that the other night," 
Joe Sharp exclaimed here; "and when the 
Danish prince was baptized, Alfred stood as his 
godfather." 

"And, please, ma'am," added Charlie Short, 
" was not that a Dane who put his chair by the 
sea-side, and told the waters not to come on any 
further?" 

'' Tes," I answered ; " Canute was king of 
Denmark and of England too; for the Saxon 
kings who reigned after Alfred were not such 
good soldiers as he was, and the Danes took 
advantage of this to come over in larger and 
larger bands, till at last they succeeded in making 
themselves masters of the country. Three 
Danish kings reigned in England one after 
another, namely, Canute, Harold, and Hardi- 
canute ; but when the last of these died without 
children, in the year 1042, the English crown 
went back to the old Saxon line. 

*'And now for the third invasion of our 
country by a Danish race. This took place 
in the year 1066, when Duke William and his 
Normans landed in England. They came, it is 
true, from Normandy, in France ; but their an- 
cestors a few generations before, had left Den- 
mark in search of a new country, and had settled 
in France, where their leader, EoUo, founded the 
dukedom of Normandy. So you see that WiUiam 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 17 

the Conqueror and his followers were Danish by 
descent, if not by actual birth ; and that we, 
whether we claim our descent from the old Angles 
or from the more courtly Normans, can scarcely 
fail to have some mixture of Danish blood in our 
veins. Possibly it is to this part of his descent 
that the Englishman of the present day owes his 
bravery and enterprise, while the German or 
Saxon part of his nature suppHes him with in- 
dustry and perseverance. 

" As I speak to you of each part of Denmark 
in turn, I shall be able to call your attention to 
many things in which Danes and Englishmen 
still resemble each other; but perhaps some of 
you may like to be told at once that the Danish 
language is said to be very much like the dialect 
of the Yorkshireman. The ancient relationship 
between the two countries is also marked by the 
number of surnames that are common to both. 
I might give you a long list of them, but for the 
present I will only mention a few. Bass, mean- 
ing wild boar ; Beck, a httle stream ; Brand, 
fire; Bigg, Danish for a buck; Grubb, Swain, 
Winter, Johnson, Thomson, and most of our 
other names ending in * son,' are among the num- 
ber. Havelock, also, is a well-known name in 
Denmark. A very popular ballad recounts the 
deeds of a Danish Havelock of bygone days, and 
it seems that during the late Indian mutiny, the 



18 DiiNMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

brave acts of our Sir Henry Havelock were as 
much thought of in Denmark as in England ; the 
Danes quite took him to themselves, and when 
the news of his death arrived, they mourned over 
his loss as if he had been their own countryman. 

*' And now, as I want you to accompany me in 
a Httle tour through Denmark, let us go and see 
how we can get there from England. The easiest 
way will be to take our passage in a steamer 
bound for Hamburg. Supposing we start from 
London, we may expect to be four or five hours 
longer upon the sea than we should be if we were 
steaming from London to Edinburgh ; about 
forty-eight hours, I believe, would be reckoned an 
average passage for the longer voyage. Ham- 
burg, where we are landed, is in Germany, not in 
Denmark, but as we steam up the Elbe in going 
there, we have the coast of Holstein, which, as I 
have told you, belongs to Denmark, on our left 
hand all the way ; Altona even, which looks like 
a suburb of Hamburg, and which you might 
suppose to belong to it, being within the Holstein 
boundary. 

'^But, as it is not fair to judge of a country 
from the inhabitants of its border towns, we will 
not stop at Altona, but hasten on a little further 
into the country, which we can do by means of 
the railroad that runs from Altona, across the 
peninsula, to Kiel, on the shores of the Baltic. 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 19 

"The first part of our journey is not very 
interesting, for we have to pass over a large 
sandy heath, only varied by an occasional peat- 
moss. Not a tree is to be seen anywhere, and 
scarcely a house, yet there must be a few villages 
somewhere at hand, since we now and then come 
upon a party of men cutting peat for their winter 
fuel, or spy out a small flock of sheep browsing 
upon the scanty herbage. Still the barren heath 
is all around us, and we begin to think that 
Denmark is one of the poorest countries we have 
ever seen. But don't judge too hastily, my 
friends ; there are desolate moors in England too, 
and yet we know that our country is by no means 
on the whole a sandy waste. Besides the barren 
district in Holstein through which we are passing, 
there is indeed a similar strip of uncultivated 
moorland and bleak peat-moss which runs up the 
centre of the peninsula, from Holstein in the 
south, to Jutland in the north. But, notwith- 
standing all this, we shall not find the whole 
country a desert. 

" See, as we draw near the shores of the Baltic, 
how the scene changes ! Now we might almost 
fancy ourselves back again in old England. We 
have passed from the moorland into 'a country 
of small fields, enclosed by hedges, and rising 
into gentle elevations of ground cultivated to the 
summits, or crowned with groves of magnificent 



20 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

beech, elm, oak, and lime-trees (none of the fir 
tribe are to be seen) ; and in the bottoms in 
which the slopes meet is generally a small quiet 
lake, reflecting the peasant's house on the bank ; 
or a peat-moss, evidently once a lake, on which 
the farmer is mowing the bog hay, or cutting 
peats for his winter fuel. The slopes and sum- 
mits of these gentle elevations appear to be of 
excellent soil, for they are carrying heavy crops 
of rye, wheat, barley, oats, and buckwheat, pease, 
rape, and sown grasses. . . . The husbandry, 
implements, horses, cattle, are very like those of 
the Anglo-Saxon districts of the south of Eng- 
land, such as Kent and Surrey.'* 

'' And here we are, by the side of the Baltic, or 
rather, by the side of one of its inlets, the Bay of 
Kiel. How pleasant its blue waters look, spark- 
ling in the sunshine ! And they must be deep, 
too, for there are some large vessels moored close 
to the town. In fact, Kiel possesses the finest 
harbour on the south side of the Baltic. It 
affords admirable shelter for shipping, and has 
depth and size enough to accommodate the 
largest fleets. 

" The town is well situated for commerce, being 
built upon a point of land that juts out into the 
water. It is a pleasant, lively place, with about 

* ' Observations on the Social end Political State of Den- 
inark and the Duchies,' By S. Laing, Esq. 



DENMABK AND ITS PEOPLE. 21 

fourteen thousand inhabitants. It contains a 
university, two large hospitals, an orphan asylum, 
a house of refuge for aged men, several churches, 
and other public buildings ; but none of them are 
remarkable for the beauty of their architecture. 

" The houses of the town are mostly built of 
red brick, for there is very little stone to be found 
in the neighbourhood ; but the bricks are laid in 
patterns, and set in a frame-work of wooden 
panelling, like some of the old houses in Eng- 
land. However, the wooden beams are painted 
black, and varnished — which we don't see in 
England — and the tiled roofs are made much 
higher than ours, in order to throw off the winter 
snow, which is much heavier in Holstein and 
Denmark than it is with us. Then the gables 
are finished off with a zigzag line for ornament, 
and there are more windows than are commonly 
seen in English buildings. 

" If we enter one of the houses in Kiel, we 
shall most probably find it comfortably furnished 
and beautifully clean ; cleanliness being a virtue 
that is generally practised throughout Holstein 
and the other Danish provinces. 

" One of the Kiel churches formerly contained 
the famous Danish banner, the Danebrog, of 
which I dare say you have heard. The story 
goes, that one day, as king Waldemar the Vic- 
torious (the husband of the good Queen Dagmar), 



22 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

was fighting against some heathens who lived on 
the shores of the Baltic, his troops lost their 
standard, and were nearly overcome by their 
pagan foes, when Waldemar east his eyes towards 
heaven, and beheld a banner descending towards 
him through the air. It was a white cross on 
a red ground. At the moment the king caught 
it he seemed to hear a voice from heaven, saying 
to him, ' In this thou shalt conquer !' And then 
the tide of victory turned, the Danes rallied round 
their sacred banner, and the pagans were utterly 
routed. Upon returning from the expedition 
(it was in the year 1219), the banner was hung 
up in St. Mary's Church at Kiel, never to be 
taken down, save in cases of the greatest need. 
But in the year 1550 it was carried before the 
Danish troops in a battle against the inhabitants 
of Ditmarsh, and was lost, all but one rag ; and 
that has since disappeared. Thus was Kiel shorn 
of its greatest glory ; but the inhabitants of 
Denmark still use, as their national flag, a copy 
of the sacred banner — a white cross on a red 
ground. 

'^At the end of the town of Kiel is a large 
square schloss, or castle, the gardens of which are 
open to the public, and contain some beautiful 
avenues of trees, extending along the shores of 
the Baltic. Passing onwards, we come upon a 
wood, and ' nothing,' says one traveller, ' can be 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 23 

more beautiful, more cool, than these beechen 
woods of the Holstein duchies ; unlike any you 
meet with in other countries. You must not 
confuse the woods with the forests: the latter 
abound in game; the woods, on the contrary, 
are cleared of all underwood, the branches lopped 
off, leaving a thick canopy of verdure above, and 
a free circulation of air below. Beneath they are 
one carpet of moss, from which spring the roots 
of the lily of the valley, the Solomon's-seal, 
hepatica, and other wild flowers in abundance; 
the dormouse, squirrel, and the stoat abound, and 
the larger falcon tribe ; of smaller birds I have 
seen but few.' * 

"The notes of the cuckoo, however, ring 
through the Danish woods in spring time, as 
they would in England, and the cunning tres- 
passer follows her usual custom of laying her 
eggs in her neighbour's nest. Perhaps you would 
like to know how the people of Denmark account 
for this fact. ' When in early sjiring time,' they 
say, ' the voice of the cuckoo is first heard in the 
woods, every village girl kisses her hand, and 
asks the question, '' Cuckoo, cuckoo, when shall I 
be married ?" and the old folks, borne down with 

* * A Kesidence in Jutland, the Danish Isles, and Copen- 
hagen.' By Horace Marryat. Woods, such as the author 
here describes, are termed groves in some parts of this 
country. 



24 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

age and rheumatism, inquire, " Cuckoo, when 
shall I be released from this world's cares?" 
The bird, in answer, continues singing " Cuckoo !" 
as many times as years will elapse before the 
object of their desires will come to pass. But as 
some old people live to an advanced age, and 
many girls die old maids, the poor bird has so 
much to do in answering the questions put to her, 
that the building season goes by ; she has no time 
to make her nest, but lays her eggs in that of the 
hedge-sparrow.' 

" But to return to the Kiel wood. Part of it 
has been laid out in tea-gardens, skittle-grounds, 
and other places of amusement, where, in summer 
evenings, almost the whole population of the 
town may be found ; rich and poor mixing freely 
together, sipping their coffee under the shade of 
the same trees, and listening with equal pleasure 
to the band of music that enlivens the gardens. 
This love of social amusement extends throughout 
Holstein and Denmark ; in summer, the tea- 
gardens are the great attraction, and in winter, 
every town and village has its choral union, and 
its company of amateur actors. 

" Perhaps I ought to add, that the profession 
of an actor is thought much more highly of in 
Denmark than it is in England : it is not un- 
common, I believe, for respectable young men, 
educated for doctors, lawyers, &c., to try their 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 25 

talents on the stage for a season, and if they 
should prove unsuccessful there, to return to their 
earlier professions without any loss of character. 

" But I think our lecture has been long enough 
for to-night, so we will leave the townspeople for 
the present, and next week I shall have some- 
thing to tell you about the villagers." 

" Oh, thank you, ma'am," exclaimed Charlie 
Short ; ** we should like to know what the farm 
l?oys do." 

"And what sort of houses they live in," added 
Tom Eule, the carpenter. 

"And what they get to eat," put in Ned 
Heavyside. 



26 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 



CHAPTEE II. 

FARMING IN DENMARK. 

Next week my scholars were aU at school in 
good time, and when they had finished their 
reading, writing, and arithmetic, I gathered them 
round the stove, that they might sit comfortably 
while I told them about farming in Denmark. 

"^ Denmark," I said, " is a country of dairy and 
cattle farms. Some of these are very large, con- 
sisting of a thousand acres and upwards, and 
keeping two, three, or even four hundred cows. 
Let us take one of these farms as a specimen of 
the rest. 

'^ When you go to visit the farmer, you drive 
in through folding-gates, not to a farmyard, but 
to a nicely-kept courtyard, with a centre of grass, 
bordered by a row of lime-trees, and a gravelled 
road all round. Of course your entrance brings 
out the watch- dog, whose kennel is placed on a 
bit of stone pavement in the middle of the grass. 
As soon as he will let you look around, you see 
that the farmer's house, a large handsome brick 
building, is in front of you ; on each side of the 



i 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 27 

folding-gates are smaller buildings, used as offices 
and for lodging the farm-servants, and on the 
other two sides of the courtyard are enormous 
barns. 

"I must tell you that in the Danish fields 
there are no stacks of hay or corn to be seen. It 
is thought that the wet and cold of winter would 
damage them ; so the farmers' barns have to be 
built large enough to hold, not only the cattle, 
but also every sheaf of corn and every load of hay 
ttat is grown upon the land." 

'' They must be large !" put in Ned Heavyside. 

" Yes," I went on, " they are indeed. I have 
read of one which was a hundred and ninety-two 
feet long, and seventy-two wide, and I beheve it 
was not at all of an uncommon size. It held two 
hundred cows, and above the stable was a loft, 
which stored all their winter fodder. It was 
built of brick, and whitewashed, and its high- 
pitched roof was thatched very thickly with rye- 
straw. It was so high that when the corn was 
brought home it took fourteen men, standing one 
above another, to pitch, the sheaves from the 
waggon to the top of the loft." 

"I should like to have seen that!" exclaimed 
Will Jones. 

"I would rather help to make a good rick, 
though, than have to pitch the sheaves up into 
the bam," added Charlie Short. 



28 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

"On the smaller farms," I continned, *^tlie 
buildings are arranged differently from those I 
have just described. You come upon what looks 
like an enormous house, with a lofty archway in 
the gable-end. The doors that close this are 
opened, you drive your carriage or waggon into 
the house, and find yourself in a large hall that 
extends the whole length of the building, and is 
broad enough for two waggons to pass. At the 
extreme end there is either another gateway, or 
else ' a large open fireplace, ranged with bright 
pewter plates and china, and good shining copper 
pots and kettles, rivalling a Holland interior in 
their brightness.' " * 

" That must be a queer sort of a house !" cried 
all the boys in chorus. 

" Please, ma'am, do they really drive into the 
house ?" added Ned Heavyside. 

" Yes," I replied ; " waggon and horses too are 
brought into the great hall, which is certainly 
not as it would be in England ; but you must 
remember that the winter is much more severe in 
Denmark than it is with us. The Danish farmer 
is a man who likes to make himself comfortable ; 
he does not fancy turning out of a winter's night 
to look after his horse or his cows, so he con- 
trives to house all his belongings under his own 
roof. Those doors that you see on one side of 
* Marryat's * Jutland and the Danish Isles.' 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 29 

the hall, open into the stable and cow-house, 
while those on the other side lead into the 
farmer's rooms. The waggon is left standing in 
the haU." 

" I should not like to live in the same house 
with the cows !" exclaimed Tom Kule. 

"No," I answered; "it might not be very 
pleasant to live too near an English cow-shed, 
but the Danish cow-houses and stables are kept 
so clean that the great hall is quite wholesome 
and sweet. The loft above the whole building is 
used as a barn, so the farmer's rooms are all on 
the ground-floor, but there are plenty of them, 
and they are as well famished as they would be 
in England. There is a stove for burning wood 
or peat in each room, for coals and open fireplaces 
are not much used. The windows are shaded by 
pretty muslin curtains, and ornamented with rows 
of flowers in pots, just as they would be with us. 

" These farm-houses are all built of brick, set 
in a framework of wood, and are mostly white- 
washed, and the beams picked out with black 
paint. The labourers' cottages are generally 
made of clay plastered on wattles, and their roofe 
are thatched very thickly with rushes or with 
rye-straw. 

"Denmark is a capital poor man's country. 
It grows more corn and cattle than it can con- 
sume, so food is very cheap, and there is enough 



30 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE, 

for all. A beggar or a man out of work is 
scarcely ever to be met with." 

" Oh, that is a good thing !" put in Joe Sharp, 
whose father had been out of work all the 
winter. 

'' There are two sides to everything/' I replied. 
*' Although the Danish labourer always has work, 
he has to do it for much less pay than the 
EngUshman. How do you think your fathers 
would like to work for threepence-halfpenny a 
day in the winter, and fivepence-farthing in the 
summer ? That is the common pay of a Danish 
labourer; and his wife gets from twopence to 
fourpence-farthing a day, according to the season. 
But, then, I must tell you that, besides their pay, 
these labourers have allowances that make up for 
their want of money. 

" Most of the married men have a holding of 
three or four acres of land with their cottage, and 
are allowed by their masters peat for fuel, and 
winter fodder for a cow. In return for these 
privileges they either pay a small rent or, more 
commonly, give their work for a certain number 
of days on the farm. Their rate of pay and 
hours of work are fixed by law, and they gene- 
rally hold their house and field from the owner of 
the land, coupled with an agreement to work on 
his farm, so that the tenant-farmer has no power 
to turn them off, or to lessen their pay. They 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 31 

all keep a cow and a pig, and generally a goat or 
two besides. These last are tethered by the way- 
side, and watched and brought home for milking 
by the children. 

" The working-hours in summer are from six 
to six, and the men cannot be forced to work 
later against their will ; indeed, the farmers com- 
plain that even in hay and harvest time they 
cannot get anything done after six o'clock, 
although they would willingly pay extra wages : 
the men excuse themselves by saying, they have 
their own fields to attend to. 

" The unmarried servants generally live in the 
farmhouse, and get from three pounds to four 
pounds ten shillings a year, besides their board. 
I dare say you would like to know how they are 
fed. A traveller who made many inquiries into 
this subject gives us the following account of the 
food suppUed to the house-servants on one of the 
large farms in Denmark : — 

" ' Every morning, thin soup made with butter- 
milk and groats. The groats are of barley (pot- 
barley), or of buckwheat, which is much culti- 
vated in Holstein for soups and pottage. Every 
evening, thick pottage and milk. Bread, the 
black, unsifted rye-bread of the country, is at 
discretion at these morning and evening meals, 
and at all the other meals. 

'' ' On Sunday the dinner is a soup made from 



32 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

lard, with dumplings and roots — namely, pota- 
toes — or with pears in it. 

'^ ' On Monday, the rest of the soup of Sunday, 
with dumplings, and mashed potatoes in lard- 
sauce. 

^' ^ On Tuesday, barley boiled in milk, with 
bacon in summer, and in winter with salt meat, 
and mashed potatoes, or cabbage, beans, carrots, 
according to the season. 

" ' On "Wednesday, thin pottage with sweet 
milk, and egg-pancakes with a piece of bacon to 
each pancake; in winter, dumplings with meat 
sauce. 

" ' On Thursday, pease-pudding, or yellow 
peas boiled, with bacon in winter, and in sum- 
mer, soup as on Sunday. 

" ' On Friday, pancakes, with soup or pottage ; 
in winter, often milk, pease-pudding, and in 
summer with thick milk. 

"^On Saturday, dumplings and milk, with 
cheese and a lump of butter, the pound being 
divided into fourteen lumps. 

" ' Every man-servant is allowed besides three- 
quarters of a pound of butter per week. The 
women-servants receive no butter weekly, but, 
instead of it, three dollars (about 6s, 8d.) yearly 
as butter-money. Bread, as before stated, and 
small beer are at discretion.' * 

* Laing's * Denmark.' , 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 33 

''This is different food to what you have, 
boys," I added: ''there is plenty of it, but I 
don't think you would like to be fed upon black 
bread instead of white." 

" I know I shouldn't," said Will Jones. 

" And I would rather have water than butter- 
milk," put in Ned Heavyside. 

" They don't give them too much meat," was 
the remark of another boy. 
, " Nor any tea, it seems," added a fourth. 

" And what do you think of the pear-soup ?" 
exclaimed Tom Eule. 

" Every country has its different kinds of food," 
I continued ; " and if you would not like butter- 
milk or pear-soup, the Dane would be just as 
dissatisfied with the bread and tea three times a 
day that I have known some EngUsh families live 
upon." 

"But, then, ours is white bread,^' remarked 
Joe Sharp. 

"Yes," I said; "but the black rye-bread, 
when it is well made, is sweet, and very whole- 
some and nourishing. It is used in a great many 
other countries besides Denmark, and I never 
heard that the peasants complain of it. On the 
contrary, many of us might take a lesson from 
the way in which the Danes treat their bread, 
looking upon it as the good gift of God. They 
say, 'We must not even lay the Bible upon 

D 



34 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

bread.' And when in Zealand a peasant drops a 
piece of bread, he takes it up quickly, and, kiss- 
ing it, begs pardon of * Our Lord ' for having 
treated carelessly 'His good gift.' Many, too, 
are the stories related by the old as warnings to 
the children ' not to profeine the blessed bread.' 

" ' A young girl, in service near Flinterup, in 
Zealand, one day received permission to visit her 
aged mother, and her mistress gave her five loaves 
to take as a present. So the girl dressed herself 
as fine as a peafowl, and, coming where the road 
was impassable on account of the mud, to avoid 
dirtying her shoes, laid down the loaves as step- 
ping-stones, in order to pass over dry-footed. 
But as she placed her feet upon the bread, the 
loaves sank deeper and deeper, till she entirely 
disappeared in the bog, and was seen no more. 
The girls of the village still sing a lay about ' the 
bad girl who trod upon bread to keep her shoes 
clean.' * 

'' In walking over a Danish farm, you would 
see some kinds of crops that we are not accustomed 
to in England, as tobacco, rye, and buck- wheat ; 
on the other hand, you would miss the root crops, 
as turnips and mangolds ; these are never sown in 
Denmark, as the winter weather is considered too 
severe for them. Perhaps it is from the want of 
Ihem that the land gets very foul ; we should say 
♦ Marryat's ' Jutland and the Danish Isles.' 



DENMABK AND ITS PEOPLE. 35 

it belonged to a bad farmer, if it were in England ; 
but notwithstanding the weeds, it is capable of 
bearing heavy crops of corn, thanks partly to the 
plentiful stock of manure with which it has been 
suppUed, and partly to its naturally fertile soil. 
On the Baltic side it consists generally of a light 
sandy loam, with a subsoil of clay ; on the North 
Sea coast there are tracts of rich loam which has 
been reclaimed from the sea. The centre of the 
country, as I have told you, is partly sandy waste, 
and partly peat-bog. The Danish farmer on the 
Baltic coast, in a good year, expects to gather in 
five quarters of wheat, six quarters of rye, six 
quarters of barley, or from six to seven quarters 
of oats per acre. 

'^ When his last sheaves have been piled upon 
the last harvest-cart, the labourers deck out the 
carts, the horses, and themselves, with garlands of 
leaves and ^flowers ; and the women gather large 
nosegays, which they fasten to the end of long 
sticks ; then they aU mount the carts, and drive 
home with shouts and songs, after the manner of 
English labourers. When they reach the farm- 
house, one of the men, who is specially dressed up 
for the occasion, approaches the farmer and his 
wife, sickle in hand, and exclaims — 

" 'We have cut the com; it is ripe; it is 
gathered in. Now shall we cut the cabbages in 
the garden ?' 



36 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

^* ' No, thank yon,' answers the farmer ; ' I 
had rather you would not.' 

" ' But we will,' says the man ; ' the corn is 
gathered in ; now we will cut the cabbages in the 
garden.' 

'^ 'No,' replies the master; 'as the corn is 
ripened and gathered into the barn, we will give 
you a feast.' 

" With this promise the company appears to be 
satisfied ; supper is served, and the evening passes 
over with as much merriment as is usual at an 
English harvest-home. 

'^ But while the Danish labourer is as fond of a 
feast as the Englishman, perhaps he is a httle 
more inclined to take his work easily. ' If you 
"see a farm-waggon on the road,' says Mr. Laing, 
' with its two horses, taking a load of hay or peat 
to market, you generally find the driver quietly 
mounted on the one, and a friend or neighbour on 
the other.' ' One practice in their husbandry,' 
Mr. Laing continues, ' I am at a loss to judge of 
— whether to consider it a saving of labour and 
fatigue to the labourer only, or a saving of labour 
— that is, of money — to the employer also. I 
saw it on a large farm, in a field in which sixteen 
horses were at work, harrowing. There were 
only four men working the sixteen horses. Two 
horses were in each harrow, and the harrows and 
all the equipment were of the same size and form 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 37 

as with us, and the field was flat. The peculiarity 
was that the harrowing was circular, the harrows 
working round and round the driver. He stood 
in the centre, like a horse-breaker lounging a 
young horse, and, with the long reins in his hand, 
kept the one pair of horses and their harrows 
alongside of, but a little behind, the other pair 
and their harrows. When he had reduced the 
clods to his mind, he took up a new centre on a 
line with the old. This was certainly a saving of 
labour, or of the fatigue of walking up and down, 
lengthwise and crosswise, over the whole field. 
It appeared a saving of labour also for the em- 
ployer. The practice of harrowing in a circle is 
universal in Holstein and Sleswick.'* 

" Nearly all the large farms in Denmark and 
the Duchies belong to nobles, and up to the 
beginning of the present century were cultivated 
by their owners ; but they are now generally let 
to tenants. When the landlord left ofi" farming 
his own land, of course he had his stock of imple- 
ments, cattle, seed-corn, &c., to dispose of, and he 
generally found it convenient to pass them over 
to the in -coming tenant, upon condition that he 
should give up stock of the same description and 
amount at the end of his lease. This kind of 
holding has descended from tenant to tenant, and 
is common in Denmark at the present day; so 
* Laing's * Denmark and the Duchies.' 



38 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

that the young farmer there does not need any 
capital to stock his farm ; his landlord provides 
him with everything that is necessary to work the 
land, and he has nothing to find but his men's 
wages, rates and taxes, and rent. The wages, as 
I have told you, are much lower than they would 
be in England ; so are the rates and taxes, and 
the rent is equally moderate — it averages, I 
believe, about ten shillings an acre where the 
stock is found, and only about six shilhngs with- 
out stock." 

" That must be a good country for the farmer," 
remarked Joe Sharp. 

'' And a bad one for the landlords," added Tom 
Eule. 

" Yes," I replied, ^' I believe you are both 
right. When we remember the immense farm- 
buildings that the landlord has to keep up, we can 
see at once that he is not likely to grow very rich 
upon ten shillings an acre, whereas many of the 
farmers have become wealthy men. 

*' About one-half of the land in Denmark be- 
longs to the nobles ; the other half is held by 
small owners, who almost all farm their own 
land. These, like their brethren the tenant- 
farmers, generally do well. Mr. Laing tells us 
of a custom that prevails among them. ' It is,' 
he says, * a peculiar trait in the social state and 
character of the peasant proprietor in Sleswick, 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 39 

Jutland, and the Danish islands, that he always 
builds a house, if his forefathers have not done it 
for him, besides the main house of his farm, for 
himself to dwell in when he gets old ; and he 
retires in old age, and gives up the property to 
his son. This generally takes place when he is 
about sixty. He reserves for his subsistence a 
certain portion of the crops, to be delivered to 
him yearly, and a cow or two, with land or fodder 
to keep them, and gives up to his son or heir the 
house, farm, stock, and management.' * 

'^ The Danish farmer generally depends for 
profit on his cattle, cows, and pigs. I dare say 
that at one time or another we have eaten some 
of his beef, for many shiploads of Danish cattle 
are sent to England every year ; others are salted 
down at home, and then sold to us as ' Hamburg 
beef.' The pigs, too, either alive or dead, gene- 
rally find their way to this side of the water, and 
help to supply our townspeople with pork and 
bacon. 

" The chief care of the Holstein farmer is spent 
upon his cows ; these are carefully fed and kindly 
treated, and in return are expected to give, on an 
average, milk that will yield 110 lbs. of butter, 
and 120 lbs. of cheese a year per cow. ' The 
butter, salted and packed on the farm in kegs 
made on the premises, is all sent to England. 
* Laing's * Denmark.' 



40 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

The cheese — skimmed-milk cheese — is sold for 
home consumption at Hambm*g and Copen- 
hagen.' * 

" As there are often from two hundred to four 
hundred cows on a farm, the dairy work is made 
quite a manufacture. One dairy-maid is kept for 
about sixteen or eighteen cows, and she has but a 
hard Hfe of it, poor girl. Her wages are two 
pounds a year, and for that she is expected to be 
up at one o'clock every morning; however, I 
must add that she is allowed to get a little extra 
sleep in the middle of the day. She has to milk 
her cows, as well as to clean her share of the 
milk-pails, make the butter, &c. ; but the churning 
is done for her by horse-power. 

" Some of the farmers tether their cows in 
summer, and they say that they can keep eleven 
to their neighbours' ten by doing so ; and that 
after the cows are accustomed to be tethered, they 
give more milk than when they roamed about at 
large. It would seem strange to us to see ' a 
hundred or two of cows tethered in a line, with 
one or two men attending them, with mallets to 
drive the stakes into the ground, and shifting the 
whole line of cattle three times a-day.' t This is 
a sight that is often to be seen in Holstein. 

'' The Danish farmers are noted for their kind 
treatment of their cattle. One traveller tells us 
* Laing's * Denmark.' f Ibid. 



DENMAKK AND ITS PEOPLE. 41 

that he remarked some upright stones in the 
pasture fields, and, asking what they were, was 
told that the farmer had put them there for his 
cattle to rub against.* Mr. Laing tells us, speak- 
ing of the war in which the Danes were engaged 
against the Germans from 1848 to 1850, 'At the 
siege of Fredericstadt, while thirty-two pieces 
of heavy artillery were pouring shot and shells 
incessantly into the little country town, which 
\yas deserted by the inhabitants, and on fire on all 
sides, the great subject of conversation and sym- 
pathy among the Danish soldiers of the little 
garrison was not their own killed or wounded, 
but the cattle, the poor cattle, left in the burning 
houses. One soldier was observed to steal across 
the street, while it was swept by the enemy's fire, 
and was found by his officer coolly dealing out 
provender to the deserted and hungry cattle of 
his landlord. He could not withstand their bel- 
lowing for food.' 

*' Mr. Marryat relates a custom which shows 
that the kind-hearted Dane does not confine his 
attention to his cows ; he is speaking of Christ- 
mas, and says : ' The peasants here have a pretty 
tradition, that as the clock strikes twelve on 
Christmas-eve, the cattle all rise together, and 
stand straight upright in their stalls. On that 

* A similar practice may be observed in some parts of 
England. 



42 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

day, too, the cows in the stables, as well as the 
horses, are fed with the best of everything — hay, 
corn, and beans ; and all is made tidy before four 
o'clock. As for the watch-dog, he fares better 
than anybody. The housewife goes into the 
courtyard, removes his chain, and, bringing him 
to the house, first cuts off from the long brown 
loaf a slice of bread, which she gives to him, say- 
ing, "Here's for my huusbond, and here's for 
me ;" and next she cuts off one for each of the 
children, " Here's for Mette, and here's for Hans." 
.... When he has finished these slices, she 
gives him his rightful supper as well, adding, 
'' Now, good dog, you shall run loose this night, 
for in a season when there is peace and good- will 
upon earth, you will surely harm no one." No- 
where is this good old custom of keeping Christ- 
mas kept up so pleasantly as in Jutland, where 
even the little birds are not forgotten, for a small 
wheat-sheaf is laid in the garden over- night on 
Christmas-eve, that they may also eat, be full, and 
rejoice. * 

* Marryat's ' Jutland and the Danish Isles.' 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 43 



CHAPTEE III. 

SLESWia, OR SOUTH JUTLAND. 

On the third evening of my Lectures on Den- 
mark, I had a full class again, and when the boys 
had seated themselves round the map, I spoke 
to them as follows : — 

" We are going to leave our farm-house to-day, 
and I should hke you to take a trip with me 
northwards, through the duchy of Sleswig.* The 
post-house from which we shall have to start is 
in Kiel, so we must beg our good-natured host to 
drive us to the town in his stuhlwagen. What is 
that ? you want to ask. Look, there it is ! A 
long, narrow waggon, the sides filled in with bars 
only, not boards, and the planks at the bottom 
laid loosely down, not nailed ; there are no springs, 
but the swing seats will lessen the jolting to some 
extent. It is not much like the smart dog-cart 
of an English farmer, is it ? but it is the general 
carriage of the middle classes in Denmark. 

* This word is spelt Schleswig by the Germans, and 
Slesvig by the Danes. Besides the spelling we have adopted, 
there is another English method of writing it, namely, 
Sleswick. 



44 



DENMAKK AND ITS PEOPLE. 



" The distance from Kiel to the town of Sles- 
wig is rather more than thirty miles, and we can 
travel either by the diligence — a heavy, lumbering 
stage-coach — or with a post carriage and horses. 
The latter mode is likely to be the most comfort- 
able, and although more expensive than the dili- 
gence, will only cost ninepence per mile ; so we 
will fix upon it. Here comes the chaise, with 
a fine pair of bay horses that would not disgrace 
any gentleman's private carriage.* But where 
can the postilion have picked up his scarlet jacket 
with its yellow facings ? Surely it must be the 
cast-ofi* coat of an English soldier. No ; scarlet 
is the colour of the royal livery in Denmark as 
well as in England, and posting there is managed 
by the Grovernment, which furnishes the postihons 
with their uniform. 

^^And now, crack, crack, goes the whip, and 
we move off gently, very gently, from the post- 
house at Kiel. Our carriage is good, the road is 
good, the horses excellent ; we might certainly go 
a little faster, but the Danish post-boy has no 
idea of hurrying either himself or his cattle ; he 
will take us along at five miles an hour, and he 
thinks we ought to be perfectly contented with 
his pace. At the end of about an hour and a half 
he drives us into the centre hall of a village hro, 
or inn, and tells us it is time that he should bait 
* Denmark is famous for its horses 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 45 

his horses. And what do you think he gives 
them ? Not corn or hay, but some good thick 
sUces of the landlady's rye bread. They like it 
quite as well, if not better, than com, and it is 
more quickly eaten, so that in half an hour we are 
ready to drive out of the kro. 

*' Our next stoppage is in the little town* of 
Eckernfiorde, beautifully situated on a fiord, or 
inlet, of the Baltic, and noted for its windmills. 
Here we change horses, and then on, on again, 
over the straight sandy road — shaded, however, 
by mountain ash-trees, and varied by an occa- 
sional beech wood — till we come in sight of the 
town of Sleswig, with its ancient palace of Gottorp 
rising tall and white and imposing in the centre 
of the town, the waters of the Sley (another fiord 
of the Baltic) glistening on our right, and on our 
left a background of royal forest. 

" Sleswig was formerly the chief town of the 
duchy, but that glory has lately been taken from 
it, and transferred to Flensborg. It is not a 
handsome town, for it consists of but one long and 
very badly paved street, built round the head of 
the fiord, which is here twenty-five miles jErom 
the open sea. The palace is nearly in the centre 
of the town. It stands upon a httle hill, which 
is surrounded by a bog ; no uncommon site for 
a palace in Denmark. 

"The principal curiosities in Sleswig are the 



46 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

altar-piece in the Cathedral, and the Church of 
St. Michael's. The latter is an ancient round 
building, and is supposed by some people to be 
the first church that was built in Denmark. The 
Danes did not become Christians till long after 
the Britons and Anglo-Saxons. It was not till 
the ninth century that any great efforts were 
made to convert them ; but about that time, 
St. Anscar, one of the noblest of the noble band 
of early Christian missionaries, crossed the Eyder. 
He is said to have made Sleswig his first halting- 
place on Danish soil, to have gathered there his 
first band of Danish converts, and to have built 
there the first Danish church, possibly the very 
St. Michael's that still exists. 

'' The altar-piece of Sleswig Cathedral is one of 
the most beautiful specimens of wood-carving in 
existence. It is twenty-six feet in width, fifty in 
height, and two in ihickness, and represents 
twenty-two scenes from the life of our Saviour. 
It contains all together about four hundred sepa- 
rate figures ; all the most prominent ones being 
highly finished, and some of them carved through 
the oak, to stand out as independent statues. 

" The artist of this celebrated work, H. Briigge- 
mann, expended seven years' labour upon it, and 
finished it in the year 1521, for his employers, 
the monks of Bordesholm. The story goes, that 
the people of Lubeck were so much pleased with 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 47 

the altar-piece that they begged Briiggemann to 
carve one for them ; whereupon the jealous 
monks of Bordesholm seized the artist, and put 
out his eyes, lest he should provide their rivals 
with a more beautiful work than the one they 



*^ The greatest curiosity in the neighbourhood 
of Sleswig is the Danevirke, which passes a few 
miles south of the town. It is an earthen wall 
or rampart, somewhat like the Eoman walls that 
were built in the north of our country to keep 
back the Picts. Its object was a similar one, 
namely, to defend the Danes against their ene- 
mies who lived beyond it. It is about ten miles 
in length, and completes a line of defence across 
the peninsula, by extending from the coast of the 
Sley (which you remember is an inlet of the 
Baltic) to a navigable branch of the river Eyder, 
which falls into the North ^ea. 

''The Danevirke is said to have been con- 
structed by King Gorm the Old, or his Queen, 
Thyra, in the tenth century, and to have been 
strengthened with brickwork and towers by Wal- 
demar the Victorious, in the thirteenth. Its last 
military use was in the Sleswig-Holstein war of 
1848-50, when it was occupied by the Danish 
army, as the key to the country north of it. 

"As I have more than once had occasion to refer 
to the war of 1848-50, and as its consequences 



48 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

have been important to Denmark, I must try to 
give yon some account of its origin. 

** The duchy of Holstein has always been ac- 
knowledged to be a part of Germany. Its people 
speak German. Its dukes formerly held their 
possession under the Emperor of Germany, and, 
now there is no Emperor of Germany, they hold 
it subject to the rules of the German Federal 
Union ; and that, although the Duke of Holstein 
is one and the same person as the King of Den- 
mark. But the Germans speak one language, 
^nd the Danes another ; the Germans have one 
code of laws, and the Danes another ; so that the 
King of Denmark is put to the trouble and ex- 
pense of conducting a double government for one 
small country. This is found to be very incon- 
venient, and one king after another has tried to 
do his best to remedy it. One attempted to in- 
troduce the Danish language into Holstein ; an- 
other endeavoured to reconcile the German and 
Danish laws of succession to the throne; and 
lastly, a constitution was proposed which should 
be common to all the Danish dominions; but 
each of these efforts was met by a quiet, yet firm, 
opposition on the part of the Holsteiners, and an 
ill-wiU by degrees grew up between them and 
their rulers, which was ripened into action by the 
revolutionary state of Europe in the year 1848. 

'' The province of Sleswig is, like Holstein, an 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 49 

independent duchy; but whereas the dukes of 
Holstein were formerly accustomed to do homage 
for their duchy to the Emperor of Germany, the 
Duke of Sleswig paid his homage to the King of 
Denmark. Holstein was to the King of Denmark 
what Hanover used to be to the King of England, 
while Sleswig was in a different position, her 
Duke owning no feudal superior but himself, in 
his quality of King of Denmark. There did not 
seem to be, therefore, any good reason why 
Sleswig at least might not be thoroughly incor- 
porated with Denmark. 

"The duchies of Holstein and Sleswig are 
separated by the rivex Eyder, which has generally 
been considered as the northern boundary of 
Germany ; it was declared to be so by the treaty 
of the year 1720. But the Eyder is not the 
limit of the German-speaking population; that 
has spread northwards, and scattered itself over 
the southern half of the duchy of Sleswig. The 
greater part of the pure Germans live to the 
south of the Danevirke, and a mixed race occupy 
the country between the Danevirke and Flens- 
borg, while the north of the duchy is inhabited 
by pure Danes. 

" The whole population of the duchy is about 
three hundred thousand, of which number it seems 
that about two hundred thousand are purely 
Danish by descent, and speak the Danish Ian- 



50 DENMABK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

guage alone ; while of the remaining hundred 
thousand, about one-half speak the German lan- 
guage only, and the other half are acquainted 
with both languages. From these statistics it 
will be seen that the Danish population is de- 
cidedly in a majority in Sleswig, and that it is not 
much more reasonable for the German minority to 
endeavour to impose their language and customs 
upon the whole duchy than it would be for a 
Gaelic-speaking Highlander to insist upon his 
language and customs being adopted throughout 
Great Britain. Nevertheless, such were the pre- 
tensions of the German party in 1848. There was 
no pretext of oppression on the part of Denmark; 
the malcontents could not say that the Sleswigers 
were treated unjustly, or even illiberally; but 
Sleswig contained a German-speaking popula- 
tion, and therefore, said they, it must needs be 
a part of Germany, and can on no account be 
allowed to become absorbed in Denmark. 

" The late King of Denmark, Frederic VII., 
came to the throne on the 20th of January, 1848. 
On taking the reins of government, he declared 
his intention of carrying out his father's views 
(of gradually amalgamating the institutions of the 
duchies with those of Denmark), and at the same 
time he put forth a constitution, which was 
to be common to Denmark and the duchy of 
Sleswig. It was just at this time that the French 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 51 

Eevolution broke out, and was rapidly followed 
by insurrections in several other states. These 
were the sparks that kindled the smouldering 
discontent of the German party in the duchies 
into open rebellion. They determined to separate 
themselves entirely from Denmark, and to con- 
vert the duchies of Sleswig and Holstein into an 
independent state, connected with the German 
Federation; and with this view they set up a 
provisional government at Kiel on the 24th of 
March, 1848. They were supported by Prussia 
and other members of the German Union, and 
they might have succeeded in their object had 
the Danes been willing- to stand quietly by and 
see their kingdom dismembered. But such was 
not the case. It was a bold thing for a little 
nation, numbering scarcely more than a million 
and a half of people (without the duchies), to 
stand out against the forty millions of Germany ; 
but the spirit of the ancient Norsemen still 
breathes in the modem Danes, and they rose to a 
man in defence of their country." 

" That's just what Englishmen would have 
done 1" muttered Will Jones. 

" Oh, I hope they beat the Germans," whis- 
pered Charhe Short. 

" The war," I continued, " was carried on with 
varied fortune for a couple of years ; then Prussia 
backed out of it, making a separate peace with 



52 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

Denmark, and the rest of the Confederates were 
routed by the Danes in the bloody battle of 
Idstedt (July 25, 1850), and forced to raise the 
siege of Fredericstadt (Oct. 5, 1850). This 
ended the war ; and by the treaty of peace that 
followed, things were restored almost to their 
former footing. Holstein was acknowledged to 
be an integral part of Germany, and Sleswig to 
be a duchy dependent upon Denmark. 

'' One painful circumstance connected with the 
war was, that the German party was joined by 
two of the king's nearest relatives, the Dukes of 
Augustenborg. By this defection of course they 
lost any claim they might have had to the suc- 
cession to the throne of Denmark ; and as neither 
Frederic VII. nor his uncle, the heir apparent,* 
had any children, it was thought advisable to 
take the opportunity of the general settlement of 
afiairs to appoint an heir presumptive to the 
throne. With the consent of the Danish Par- 
liament, the king fixed upon Prince Christian, 
father of the Princess Alexandra. He is lineally 
descended by the male line from the kings of 
Denmark and dukes of Holstein, but in the ninth 
generation ; while on the female side he is much 
nearer to the throne. As his descent may be a 
matter of interest to you, from his relationship to 
the Princess of "Wales, here is a table of the line 
* Prince Ferdinand, since dead. 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 53 

that connects him most closely with the old royal 
family of Denmark : — 

Frederic V., King of Denmark. 

\ 

Christian VII. Frederic, prince hereditary. Louisa. 

I , '—I I 

Frederic VI. Christian VIII. Charlotte Louisa. Louisa Caroline. 

Frederic VII. Louisa Wilhelraina, Christian IX., 

The present queen, The present king. 

Mother of the Father of the 

l*rinces8 of Wales. Princess of Wales. 

" From the above it appears that Christian IX. 
(who came to the throne on the death of Fred- 
eric VII. in November, 1863) is the great-grand- 
son of King Frederic V., and that he married 
his second cousin, the Princess Louisa Wilhelmina, 
who is also a great-grandchild of Frederic V. 

*' King Christian IX. has six children : — 

" Prince Christian Frederic, born in 1843 ; 

"Alexandra, Princess of Wales, born Dec. 1, 
1844, married March 10, 1863 ; 

" Prince William George, born in 1845, and 
elected King of Greece in 1863 ; 

" The Princess Maria Dagmar, bom in 1847 ; 

^' The Princess Thyra, born in 1853 ; and 

" Prince Waldemar, bom in 1858. 

" But it is time for us to return to Sleswig. 
' The inhabitants of this duchy are distinguished 
for mildness and benevolence of character, as well 
as for morahty and virtue. They are generally 



54 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

serious and respectful in manner, upright in prin- 
ciples, and steadily industrious in their habits. 
The men are broad-shouldered, strong, and robust 
in the lowlands ; while in the higher districts they 
are neither so wide-chested nor thickset, but are 
more vigorous and active. The hair and com- 
plexion are generally fair.'* 

"The greater number of the people are em- 
ployed in agriculture ; but there are also sailors 
and fishermen living on the coasts, and a few 
manufactures are carried on in the towns, among 
others, those of cloth-weaving, paper-making, 
soap-boiling, sugar-refining, and oil-crushing. 

" Every Danish artisan and tradesman belongs 
to the corporation or guild of his craft ; and no 
one is allowed to set himself up as a carpenter, 
bricklayer, shoemaker, &c., without the leave of 
the guild he wishes to enter. By this means the 
trades are prevented from becoming over-crowded, 
and almost constant work is secured to the mem- 
bers of the guilds." 

" That must be a good plan," put in Tom 
Eule. 

" It sounds very satisfactory, no doubt," I con- 
tinued ; " but we must remember that the Danish 
artisan is subjected to long years of apprentice- 
ship and of journeyman labour at small wages, 
before he is allowed to become a master workman 
* ' The Danes and the Swedes,' by C. H. Scott. 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 55 

at all, and that even then he is kept under strict 
rules by his guild, which prevent him from starv- 
ing, it is true, but which are equally powerful 
to prevent him from pushing ahead in liis trade. 
He may only employ the number of workmen 
that the masters of his guild think fit to allow 
him, and he must pay them neither more nor 
less than the regulation price. 

" The most commercial town in the duchy we 
are speaking of is Flensborg, about twenty miles to 
the north of the town of Sleswig, and like it, built 
round the head of one of those beautiful fiords, or 
inlets of the sea, that add so many charms to the 
Baltic coasts of Denmark. It is a flourishing place, 
and the capital of the duchy ; but yet in passing 
through it the English traveller cannot fail to 
notice the dull look and apparent poverty of the 
shops, in comparison with what he has been 
accustomed to see in places of the same size in 
his own country; and this remark is not ap- 
plicable to Flensborg only, but also to every 
other Danish town. It does not arise from any 
dearth of suitable shop-goods in Denmark, but 
from the shopping wants of the people there being 
less than our own. In England, even in country^ 
villages, people buy a great deal of their food, and 
all their clothing, at the shops, or from hawkers ; 
but in Denmark, as I have told you, nearly every 
peasant grows his own corn and fattens his own 



56 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

pig ; and then for clothing, his wife and daughters 
prepare and spin the home-grown flax and wool, 
and he weaves it into linen and cloth. The town 
workmen either spin and weave their own clothing 
or buy it from the comitry peasants. Anything 
that they do get from the shops in the way 
of clothing, as prints, ribbons, &c., costs them 
nearly double the English price; but on the 
other hand, the food-shops are much cheaper than 
ours, meat, for instance, selling at from three- 
pence to fourpence a pound in the country, and 
up to sixpence in Copenhagen, butter at eight- 
pence, and other things in proportion. 

^'Flensborg boasts of having been the birth- 
place of many men of note, as, Krock the painter, 
and Lorch, the first Danish engraver; but 
among all her citizens none seems to me more 
worthy of remembrance than an ancient burgher 
of whom the following story is told : — 

*' It was during the Swedish wars of the 
seventeenth century, that after a battle in which 
the enemy had been routed, a burgher of Flens- 
borg was about to refresh himself with a draught 
of beer from a small wooden bottle, when he 
heard the cry of a wounded Swede, who fixing 
his longing eyes on the beverage, exclaimed, ' I 
am thirsty, give me to drink !' 

"Now the burgher of Flensborg was a kind 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 57 

man, and though he sufiered greatly himself, he 
repHed at once, ' Thy need is greater than mine,' 
and, kneeUng down by the side of the woimded 
soldier, he poured the liquor into his mouth. 

" But the treacherous Swede, taking advantage 
of the unarmed state of his benefactor, fired his 
pistol as he bent down, wounding him in the 
shoulder. 

" Then the burgher sprung upon his legs, and 
indignant, exclaimed, ' Eascal ! I would have 
befriended you, and you would murder me in 
return ; now will I punish you. I would have 
given you the whole bottle, but you shall have 
only half ;' and drinking off one-half himself, he 
gave the remainder to his enemy. When the 
news of this action came to the ears of King 
Frederic III. he ordered the burgher into his 
presence, and asked him, * Why did you not kill 
the rascal?' 

"'Sire,' replied the man, 'I could never slay 
a wounded enemy.' 

" ' Thou meritest to be a noble,' said the king, 
and he caused him to be created one at once, and 
gave him for his arms a wooden beer-bottle 
pierced through with an arrow."* 

" Leaving Flensborg for the north, we travel 
for some miles by the side of the fiord, through 
* Marryat's * Jutland and the Danish Isles.' 



5S 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 



a beautiful country, ^here finely wooded, there 
well cultivated, now gently sloping into lovely 
valleys, now melting into the mirrored surface of 
the sea. Hill and dale, wood and grass, the 
stately beech, the gnarled oak, in combination 
form the body, while flashing water lights it up 
and gives it a soul — the soul and body of the 
beautiful. The taper masts, the flapping sails, the 
moving vessels on the fiord, the peasants' houses 
on its shore, the churches' steeples amidst the 
trees, united make the substance ; while the sun's 
bright rays in light and shade throw over it a 
spirit — the sphit and the substance of the pictu- 
resque.' * 

"As we pass through this beautiful country, 
^ its smiling pastures, its verdant meadows with 
their quickset hedges, its scattered trees upon the 
fertile slopes of gentle undulations, call up asso- 
ciations of our own dear land. Nor is this strong 
resemblance merely accidental. This is Angeln, 
whence the name of England comes : this is the 
cradle of our adventurous ancestors the Angli ; 
this the birthplace of those intrepid chiefs 
Hengist and Horsa.'t You remember how they 
were invited to come over to our country after 
the Eomans left it. 

" The district of Angeln extends about thirty 
miles, from the fiord of Plensborg to that of 
* Scott's ' Danes and Swedes.' f Ibid. 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 59 

Apenrade. The English look of this part of the 
country and its inhabitants, is constantly noticed 
by travellers. 

'^And now, if we cross over the peninsula, 
from the coast of the Baltic to that of the North 
Sea, we shall find ourselves in another part of 
Denmark which is said to have sent out its 
colonists to England. This is Frisia, or Dit- 
marsh, which Hes along the western coast, from 
the mouth of the Elbe to that of the Eyder, and 
thence northwards to Jutland. The people of 
this district retain the tradition of their connec- 
tion with England, and justify it by the dialect 
they speak, which comes much nearer to the 
English language than that which is used in the 
Danish Isles. They have a couplet that runs, — 

" Good bread and good cheese 
Is good English and good Friese." 

** Their country is the most fertile part of 
Denmark, but it is not nearly so pleasing in 
appearance as the opposite coast. They have 
none of those beautiful fiords running up into the 
land and backed by wooded hills, but a flat mo- 
notonous shore, with scarcely a harbour that can 
afford any shelter to shipping from the mouth of 
the Elbe to the most northern point of Denmark. 
In fact, from Tonning, on the Eyder, to the 
Skaw, a distance of three hundred miles, there is 



60 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

not a single port that can be entered by vessels 
of any size. The land reminds the traveller of 
Holland ; and like that country, a great deal of it 
has been reclaimed from the sea, and still requires 
to be protected by embankments. Occasionally 
these give way, and then an inundation follows, 
and the fruits of many years' labour are destroyed. 
" The most disastrous event of this kind that 
has been recorded took pkce in 1634. * On the 
12 th of October in that year a violent storm of 
south-west wind had raised a heavy sea, and in 
the night-time, with a spring tide at its height, 
the wind suddenly shifted to north-west, and 
threw such huge breakers on the coast that the 
sea-dykes gave way, and cattle, corn, horses, and 
people were overwhelmed. In Eyderstedt dis- 
trict alone, two thousand one hundred and seven 
persons were drowned, six hundred and four 
houses demolished, and eighteen thousand head 
of cattle were lost. In the district of Flusum a 
thousand people perished, and as many in the 
district of Tondern ; fifteen thousand persons, it 
was reckoned, perished in that dismal night in 
both duchies. The island of Nordstrand, of the 
most extensive and fertile arable and grass land, 
with twenty-two parish churches, was overflowed, 
and cut in two by the waves, and six thousand 
four hundred and eight of its inhabitants were 
carried ojBf by the waters, two thousaiid five hun- 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 61 

dred only escaping. Fifty thousand head of cattle 
are supposed to have perished.'* 

"How thankful ought we to be that we hve 
in comparative freedom from such dreadful cala- 
mities !" 

As soon as I had done speaking, the boys re- 
curred to the subject of the Sleswig-Holstein war, 
and one and all expressed their joy at the victories 
of th6 Danes. 

"'Twas no wonder they conquered, for they 
had the right on their side," said one. 

And another added, " Ay, but was not it a brave 
thing for them to stand out, two against forty ?" 

*'The Danes were always a brave nation," I 
said, " and famous for their endurance. There 
are many stories in their history which show how 
they have contrived to hold out under difficulties, 
and as one of them is rather amusing, I will 
relate it to you : — 

" A castle in Jutland was once besieged by the 
Count of Holstein, against whom the garrison 
defended themselves for many a long and weary 
month. At length their provisions were almost 
exhausted, and they had but one sow and a little 
bread left in the castle. The Count seems to 
have suspected their condition, for he sent a 
beggar woman to them morning after morning, to 
* Lainoj's ' Denmark and the Duchies.' 



62 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

ask for food. But the brave Danes had no in- 
tention of letting the enemy know the state of 
their larder, so they gave the beggar a larger bit 
of bjead every time she came. As for the sow, 
instead of eating her up, they turned her to 
another use, but you will hardly guess what it 
was. They took her somewhere near the outside 
of the castle three times a day, and pinched her 
till she squeaked ; which was of course as much 
as saying to the enemy, ' We have meat enough 
in the castle still, and don't intend to give up yet 
for want of food.' So the Holsteiners understood 
them to mean ; and after watching the castle for 
some time longer, and finding that all their efforts 
to tire out the Danes were useless, they raised the 
siege. 

" But if the Danish peasants and common 
soldiers are thus brave and enduring, we must 
not forget to notice the gallant spirit in which 
they are led on by their officers and nobles. Not 
to mention the Sleswig-Holstein war, in which 
the devotion of the upper classes to their country- 
was very conspicuous, I will give you one instance 
of older date. 

" Admiral TroUe had spent a long life in the 
service of his country, when, in 1565, a new war 
broke out with the Swedes. The admiral imme- 
diately prepared to take a part in it ; but one of 
his friends remonstrated with him, saying it was 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 63 

a pity he should risk his vahiable life. Trolle 
rephed, * If I lose this life I enter another. Do 
you know why we are called gentlemen, and why 
we wear chains of gold ; why we possess lordships 
and expect more respect from others ? It is 
because we have the satisfaction to see our pea- 
sants live in peace, while we, with our king, 
defend our country. If we wish for what is sweet, 
we must also taste the bitter.' " 



64 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 



CHAPTEE IV. 



JUTLAND. 



'' We come now to the largest and most northerly- 
province of Denmark, Jutland, the land of the 
Jutes. You remember that they were one of the 
tribes who are said by early historians to have 
crossed over to England in large numbers ; we 
need not therefore be surprised to find that the 
dialect spoken in Jutland comes nearer to the Eng- 
lish language than that which is used in any other 
part of Denmark. In other provinces * th ' is 
sounded hard, as ' t,' while the Jutlanders give it 
its full sound. In Denmark generally, ^ w ' is 
pronounced ^ v,' but in the mouth of a Jutlander 
it is the English ' w.' Mr. Marryat, while jour- 
neying through the province, remarked that the 
postilion, in talking to his animals, called one of 
them ' ole ors,' and the other ' mare,' and that, 
when he found it necessary to alter a strap in the 
harness, he turned round to the travellers with- 
the petition, ^ Lend os a scizzors.' By-and-by 
the party alighted at a cottage, where they were 
greeted with the friendly invitation, ^ Will 'ee 



DENMABK AND ITS PEOPLE. 65 

drink a glass milk ?' and on asking for the key of 
the church, the direction given them was, *Go 
thou to schoolmaster.' We should hardly have 
expected that races, which have been separated for 
more than eight hundred years, would have re- 
tained so much of a common language ; but so it 
is. 

*^ In travelling northward from Sleswig the first 
town we come to on the western side of Jutland is 
Bibe. It is famous in Danish history from its 
connection with the good Queen Dagmar. She 
was the daughter of a king of Bohemia, and 
Waldemar, King of Denmark, hearing of her 
charms, sent an embassy to ask her hand in mar- 
riage. Her parents looked favom^ably upon the 
proposal, and the young lady declared herself ready 
to accompany the ambassadors to Denmark. 

" ' Then,' to follow the words of an old Danish 
ballad, which has been translated by Miss 

Howitt — 

* Then silken stuffs were spread on the ground 

And the maid went down to the strand ; 
She bade good-night to her parents dear, 
And the ship put out from land.* 

* They hoisted aloft the silken sail 

Upon the gilded mast, 
And so they came to Denmark 
Ere two long months were passed. 



* Into the river Elbe, according to the teaching of modem 
geography. 

P 



66 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

* It was the mild Queen Dagmar 

That looked out first to land ; 
And there the King of Denmark 
Was riding on the strand. 

* Then took they the lady Dagmar 

And lifted her first on land, 
And Waldemar, King of Denmark, 
Beached forth to her his white hand. 

'And silken stuffs and scarlet 

Along the earth were spread, 
And Dagmar, with all her ladies. 
To Kiber house was led. 

* So the wedding was held with pomp and joy 

With mirth and bridal cheer, 
And King Waldemar and Queen Dagmar 
Were each to the other dear.' 

*^ It seems that in those days the peasants were 
oppressed by a heavy land-tax, known as the 
plough-tax, from being levied according to the 
number of ploughs that each farmer kept upon 
his farm. Queen Dagmar heard of the com- 
plaints which were caused by this tax, and, as the 
ballad I have just quoted from goes on to tell 
us — 

* Early in the morning, 

Before the risen sun, 
It was the lady Dagmar 

Who craved her morning boon. 

* One boon, my gracious lord, I crave, 

Let me not crave in vain — 
That you forego the peasants' plough-tax. 
And release each prisoner's chain.' 



DENMABK AND ITS PEOPLE. 67 

" The king granted her petition, and — 

• Great was the joy which Dagmar brought, 

Great joy all Denmark thorough ! 
Both burgher and peasant lived in peace 
Without tax or plough -pence sorrow.' 

" After a time, however, the plough-tax seems 
to have been laid on again, and then again — and 
this time with her dying breath — Queen Dagmar 
petitioned the king for its removal. Her prayer 
was heard; and the grateful peasants marked 
their thankfulness by handing down the memory 
of their benefactor in ballads, which have sur- 
vived the deeds they commemorate more than' six 
hundred years, and are popular among the Danes 
to this hour. Queen Dagmar 's death took place 
at Eibe, in the year 1212. 

" The principal object of interest in Eibe is the 
cathedral, which is the finest in Jutland. Per- 
haps, however, that is not saying much, as there 
is no church in Denmark that is equal in beauty 
or size to our English cathedrals or large abbey 
churches. The graceful pointed-arch style of 
architecture that we call Gothic is almost un- 
known in Denmark ; the churches there are 
nearly all built in the massive round-arch style 
that we know by the name of Norman. Many of 
them, too, are built of brick, or of brick mixed 
with stone, which, as you know, is not the case 
with our cathedrals. There is no reason, how- 



68 DENMABK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

ever, to ascribe to the Danes any want of desire 
to do their best in church-bnilding ; style and 
material are, after all, matters of taste and ex- 
pediency ; and as to zeal, many an Englishman 
might take a lesson from an old custom of the 
Danes, which was, that when a church was going 
to be built, each peasant in the neighbourhood 
brought a stone, or a beam, ready cut and carved, 
as his gift towards the building. 

" In visiting the cathedral of Elbe, or any other 
Danish church, we shall observe, that for funeral 
monuments, instead of marble or stone tablets, 
the Danes often hang a portrait of their deceased 
relative upon the church walls. In the church- 
yards, the most common forms of gravestones are 
crucifixes and square tablets resting on heaps of 
rocks, with ivy planted round. The graves are 
oblong mounds of earth, not covered with turf, 
but with flowers. It is the custom for families to 
visit the graves of their relations every All Saints' 
Day, and at this annual visit, if at no other time, 
the little garden is sure to be put in order. 

" Two centuries ago the Danes were noted for 
the extravagant sums of money they spent at their 
funerals. We are told in ' An Account of Denmark 
as it was in the year 1692,' that ^ the bodies of the 
nobles were frequently preserved for years, wait- 
ing until either an opportunity occurred or the 
funds were procured for giving a befitting fune- 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 69 

ral.' Coffins in those days were often made of 
solid silver; there is one still lying in Sleswig 
cathedral which is so rich in material and in the 
beauty of its workmanship, that a Jew from Ham- 
burg is said to have lately offered a sum equal to 
two thousand pounds sterling for it. 

** Among the monuments in Ribe cathedral is 
one to Hans Tausen, the Luther of Denmark. 
He was a Gray Friar in a Danish monastery, but 
he travelled to Wittenburg, where he fell in with 
Luther, and became a convert to his doctrines. 
On his return he preached the reformed faith in 
Denmark, and of course brought upon himself 
the fury of the Eomish priests. The Bishop of 
Viborg called a company of soldiers to his aid, 
and attempted to seize the heretic ; but he was 
successfully defended by the people. Shortly 
afterwards, King Frederic I. declared himself in 
favour of the Eeformation, and persecution ceased. 
The Lutheran form of Protestantism was adopted 
as the national Church of Denmark, and it remains 
so to the present day. 

"In what respects the Lutherans differ from 
the Church of England I shall leave you to find 
out from other sources, merely remarking, that 
the Danish Church, while retaining the sacred 
offices of bishop, priest, and deacon, cannot, 
like ours, connect its Bishops by an unbroken 
line of succession with the time of the Apostles. 



70 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

The duties that are generally performed in 
England by the 'parish clerk/ fall in Denmark 
to the share of the ' deacon/ and, in the country, 
this officer very commonly adds the post of 
village schoolmaster to the duties of his sacred 
calling. 

" For, according to law, every parish must 
have its schoolmaster in Denmark. He is ap- 
pointed by a board of commissioners, generally 
clergymen, who put him through a very strict 
examination before they allow him to pass ; they 
also take care that his school shall be frequently 
examined and reported upon. In return for his 
labour the master enjoys the use of a school- 
house and of a glebe, which the parishioners are 
bound to plough for him, together with a salary 
of from 40?. to lOOZ. a year, provided partly by 
government and partly by the parish. This is 
good pay, considering the cheapness of living in 
Denmark ; and it shows the importance which the 
Danes attach to the education of their children. 

" Here, again, some of our people might well 
learn a lesson from the Danes. How sad it is in 
England to see child after child kept away from 
school, and allowed to grow up without any at- 
tempt being made to teach it the duties it owes to 
God and man ! Such ignorance is rarely found 
in Denmark. Every child there is carefully sent 
to school, and made to learn the Church Gate- 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 71 

chism, reading, writing, and arithmetic; besides 
which it is generally taught the history of its own 
country, and a little geography and grammar. 
The clergyman of the parish usually visits the 
school once a week, and sees that proper attention 
is paid to religipus instruction ; and as the time 
draws near for the children to be confirmed, he 
takes them into his own hands, and gives them 
regular lessons for six or twelve months, or even 
longer, before he allows them to present them- 
selves to the bishop. Even then the clergyman's . 
ticket does not pass them, but they are carefully 
examined by the bishop or provost, who rejects 
them unless they can show that they have a good 
knowledge both of the Church Catechism and of 
the Bible. 

" The bishop is upheld in this discipline by the 
government, and by the employers of labour in 
general. The government does not consider that 
young people are fit to manage their own affairs, 
or are come of age, as we call it, until they have 
been confirmed. And very few Danish masters 
or mistresses choose to engage a servant who has 
not received a proper religious education ; in 
hiring one they expect to have a certificate of 
confirmation brought them, as well as a good 
character. 

" You will want to know whether the Danes 
are any the better for the careful training they 



72 DENMAKK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

receive. In inquiring into this matter we must 
remember that the best effects of a good educa- 
tion are not those which are seen upon the sur- 
face; but three facts, which are reported by 
travellers in Denmark, certainly speak well for 
the system that is followed there. 

" First : There is not so much crime in Den- 
mark, in proportion to its population, as there is 
in England. 

" Secondly : Drunkenness, which was formerly 
very prevalent there, has been so much lessened 
of late years that Mr. Laing, who spent some 
months in the country in 1851, testifies, ' I have 
not seen a drunken man in Denmark or the 
duchies, although I have been living very much 
in country hros, or ale and spirit houses in the 
villages.' And Mr. Scott, who was in Denmark 
during the time of the Sleswig-Holstein war, bears 
the same witness. ' Neither in towns, nor in the 
country,' he says, 'did we witness any drunken- 
ness ; we never, in fact, saw a drunken individual, 
although we constantly came in contact, during 
our tour through the islands, with bodies of men 
collected together in the towns previously to join- 
ing the army, taking leave of their friends, or just 
after having done so.' 

^' Thirdly : There are but very few parish 
paupers in Denmark. Each Danish parish or 
district provides a workhouse for its poor, as with 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 73 

ns, and widows, orphans, and old people are made 
very comfortable when they take refuge in it; 
but the number of those who find it necessary to 
do this is so small, that a penny rate is often suf- 
ficient to cover the workhouse expenses for the 
year. 

" The Danish poor-law contains one admirable 
provision against idleness. When a man who 
can work and won't work — such people do now 
and then turn up in most countries — asks for 
relief, it is given him, but in the form of bread 
and water only; upon this he is kept till he 
comes to a better mind ; then he is set to work ; 
but out of his first wages he is made to pay back 
to the parish officers what they have spent upon 
him, and until he has done so he is deprived of 
all his civil rights. 

'' Mr. Marryat went to see the poorhouse at 
Eingkioping, a town about fifty miles to the north 
of Eibe. He found that it was 'a long one- 
storied building, divided into good, airy, well- 
sized rooms, two beds in each. The married 
people are not separated ; in one chamber lay an 
aged couple, whose united ages must have 
amounted to well-nigh two centuries, bedridden 
both, on a sea of feather-beds of exquisite clean- 
liness. Then there was a work-room, where aged 
♦women were busy spinning flax and carding wool; 
and the kitchen in which they dine together — in 



74 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

the morning coffee and bread and butter; for 
dinner, a soup and one dish of meat ; of an even- 
ing, tea and smor-brod. A range of hams hung 
round the ceiling beams.' 

'' Besides the workhouse, Eibe and many other 
Danish towns contain comfortable almshouses for 
the poor. 

'' But it is time we should continue our journey- 
northwards. Leaving Kibe, we pass through an 
immense meadow, eight English miles square, 
without hedge or division of any sort ; this is the 
town field that was presented to Eibe by King 
Eric Menved. And now on, on we go for many 
a weary mile, through a flat uninteresting country. 
To our left, the land is cultivated and very fertile ; 
on our right, we have now sandy heath, and now 
black bog. The Jutland bogs, you must remem- 
ber, are very useful to the inhabitants, as they 
supply them with nearly all the fuel they use, and 
that so cheaply, that a thousand large turfs can 
be bought in Jutland for half-a-crown. But on 
the other hand, we must admit that these bogs 
are sometimes awkward places, as the following 
story proves : — 

" ' In times long, long gone by, the King of 
Laven, in Jutland, built himself a castle upon the 
borders of a lake, and there he lived with his fair 
daughter. The fame of her beauty soon spread^ 
abroad, and a neighbouring king came to Laven 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLK 75 

castle, and asked her hand in marriage. The 
maiden's consent was soon won, but the father 
said he could not 4p without his only daughter, 
and therefore he forbade the match. The lovers 
did not, however, consider themselves bound by 
his decision ; but as the bridegroom was not al- 
lowed to visit openly at Laven castle, they deter- 
mined to resort to stratagem. Accordingly, one 
evening the gentleman made his way in, dis- 
guised, as a blind harper, and a few hours later it 
was discovered that he and the maiden had disap- 
peared together. And now the angry father 
orders his fleetest horses to be saddled, and he 
and his servants make hot haste in the pursuit. 
Presently the lovers are seen in the distance, 
pushing on as fast as their single horse will carry 
them. The bridegroom drops his hat, but he 
does not wait to pick it up. The pursuers gain 
on him, but he puts spurs to his horse and dashes 
forward. There is a bog ahead, the pursuers will 
go round it, but he determines to venture across. 
Eash decision ! The horse plunges in, flounders 
about for a few steps, then sinks deeper and 
deeper, till the black oozy waters close upon their 
prey, and bridegroom and bride are swallowed up 
by the bog, in the sight of the bereaved king of 
Laven castle.' 

" However, those who keep to the high roads 
in Denmark are in no danger of falUng into bogs, 



76 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

although they may be almost blinded by the 
dust. 

" What is that we can just see through the 
driving sand? A gipsy's tent, surely. Yes, 
gipsies live pretty much the same hfe in Den- 
mark that they do in England, and the heathy 
ground in the centre of Jutland is their favourite 
camping place. They ply the trade of chimney- 
sweeping, and are sometimes hired to act as dust- 
men in the towns. 

'^ And now we come to the kro, where we are to 
put up for the night. What can that bundle of 
sticks be, on the top of the roof ? It is a stork's 
nest ; and storks, as well as swallows, are supposed 
by the Danish peasant to bring luck to the house. 
The tradition they have about it is as follows : — 

" * It was on that fearful Friday when our 
Saviour hung in His agony upon the cross, when 
the sun was turned into blood, and darkness was 
upon all the earth, that three birds, flying from 
east to west, passed by the accursed hill of Gol- 
gotha. First came the lapwing; and when the 
bird saw the sight before him he flew round about 
the cross, crying in his querulous tone, "Piin 
ham! piinham! — Torment Him! torment Him!" 
For this reason the lapwing is for ever accursed, 
and can never be at rest ; it flies round and round 
its nest, fluttering and uttering a plaintive cry : in 
the swamp its eggs are stolen. 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 77 

" * Then came the stork, and the stork cried in 
its sorrow and its grief for the ill deed done, 
" Styrk ham ! styrk ham ! — Give Him strength ! 
give Him strength !" Therefore is the stork 
blessed, and wherever it comes it is welcome, and 
the people love to see it build upon their houses : 
it is a sacred bird, and for ever unharmed. 

" * Lastly came the swallow, and when it saw 
what was done, it cried, '* Sval ham ! sval ham ! 
-^Eefresh Him ! cool Him !" So the swallow is 
the most beloved of the three, he dwells and 
builds his nest under the very roofs of men's 
houses, he looks into their very windows and 
watches their doings, and no man disturbs him, 
either on the palaces or the houses of the poorest 
peasants.'* 

" Before we go into the kro, let us take a look 
round the farm-yard that belongs to it. "We are 
out of the dairy district now, so we do not find 
many cows, but there is a herd of young bullocks, 
and a drove of colts. The Jutland farmer rears 
great numbers of cattle and horses for exporta- 
tion. Mr. Marryat inquired at one farm how 
many horses they kept, and was told eighty-five. 
Six thousand horses were exported from Jutland 
to France in one summer, and orders were re- 
ceived for three thousand more. 

" Here is the poultry house. How clean it is 
* MaiTyat's ' Jutland and the Danish Isles.' 



78 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

kept ! The hens are sitting on nests made ont of 
a handful of straw doubled over and tied together 
at one end, and then opened out into a cup-shape. 
When the girl goes to take the eggs, she leaves 
five in each nest ; because, she says, the hen can 
count up to five, but no further. 

*^Now let us go into the kro. This clean, 
cheerful room, with its window full of flowers, and 
its loud- ticking clock, is the family sitting-room. 
That is an old-fashioned spinning-wheel in the 
corner, and in the room beyond is a loom ; for, as 
I have told you before, the Danish peasants still 
spin and weave nearly all the clothing they wear. 
The flax of which they make their linen is 
grown on their own farms, and the wool, for cloth 
and worsted, comes from their own sheep. They 
are generally particular about the cut and finish 
of their dress, and each district has a costume of 
its own. 

*' The hoUday dress of the Jutland men consists 
of a broad-brimmed hat, a long coat of homespun 
cloth, ornamented with large silver buttons, velvet 
breeches, and Hessian boots. 

'' The women in some places wear frilled caps ; 
in others they tie a handkerchief round their 
heads. In some districts they add to their head- 
dress a black mask tied over their faces, which 
gives them a very odd appearance ; but it pro- 
tects them from the flying sand while they are 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 79 

working in the fields, and of course they take it 
off in-doors. On common days their upper gar- 
ment is a linen or cotton jacket, but on Sundays 
they change it for one of better material, cloth or 
velvet, with silver ornaments. The skirt is of 
homespun cloth, blue, green, brown, or red, ac- 
cording to the taste of the wearer or the fashion 
of the district; in some places it is a tartan 
plaid. 

'' The Danish peasants have not yet learnt to 
hoop themselves round with crinoline, but they 
seem to think that the more petticoats they are 
seen to possess the more respectable will they be 
thought, and so a girl generally wears the whole 
of her wardrobe in that line round her waist — 
five, six, or seven thick homespun cloth petticoats 
at a time. They tell a story of a certain bride 
who went to church with thirteen on, and fainted 
away in consequence. The old women often knit 
their petticoats; and all the stockings are knitted. 
The costume used to be completed by sabots, that 
is, wooden shoes, but these are said to be rapidly 
going out of fashion. 

" And now, here comes our dinner. I wonder 
what our Jutland hostess will give us ? Stewed 
eels that have been caught in the lake hard by ; 
veal cutlets and potatoes ; Eanders beer ; and for 
sweets, two favourite Danish dishes — sour cream 
served up with bread-crumbs and sugar, and rod- 



80 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

grod, which is so good that we are tempted to ask 
for the receipt. Here it is : — 

" ' Take a pint and a half of juice, either rasp- 
berry, currant, or cherry, or mixed, and when it 
boils, add three ounces of ground rice. Let it 
simmer for twenty minutes, and before taking it 
off the fire, throw in an ounce of sweet almonds, 
pounded, and an ounce and a half of isinglass. 
Pour into a mould, set in cold water, and serve it^ 
when turned out, with thick cream round the 
dish.'* 

" After such a good dinner we shall soon be 
ready for our beds. This one must surely be 
meant for a child, it is so short. No, short beds 
are the fashion in Denmark, you won't find a 
longer one in the house. But what is that square 
pillow that half covers it ? Oh, that is the eider- 
down bed. People here don't cover themselves 
up with blankets ; you must be content with a 
pair of sheets and a counterpane, and put the 
eider-down over your feet or over your shoulders 
— it is not long enough to cover both ; very likely 
it may tumble ofi" in the night, but never mind, 
you will be no worse off than your neighbours, 
and as long as you can keep it over you, you will 
find it both light and warm. 

" We have managed to get through the night 
pretty well with it, although it does not 
* Manyat's * Jutland and the Danish Isles.' 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 81 

seem to us so comfortable as a good pair of 
blankets. 

"^ But here is breakfast, — coffee, eggs, butter, 
and rye-bread, — and as soon as that is despatched 
we must mount our ' stuhlwagen ' again, for we 
have another long ride before us to-day. 

''As we pass on through the corn-fields we 
cannot fail to notice the large stones that are 
scattered over them, some as big as a man's head, 
^ome four or five feet long, and some still larger. 
They are found in all parts of Denmark, but lie 
more thickly in some places than in others. They 
are mostly of red or gray granite, a stone which 
does not belong to the soil of any part of Den- 
mark ; the nearest mountains in which it is found 
are in Norway and Finland. It is thought that 
these blocks must have been split off from some of 
them many years ago, and have been carried along 
by the ice, till they settled down where they now 
are. We should hardly have thought it possible 
that the ice, or waters, of the Baltic could have 
carried such huge stones for several hundred miles, 
but there are many instances on record which 
prove that they can do so. 

"In the year 1807, an English vessel, belong- 
ing to the Eoyal Navy, was sunk in Copenhagen 
Eoads. Thirty-seven years afterwards an expe- 
rienced diver was sent down, to see if anything 
remained in her that was worth saving. He 



82 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

found the space between decks covered with blocks 
of stone of six or eight cubic feet in size, and 
some of them heaped one upon another. He then 
told his employers that he had visited many 
wrecks in the Sound after they had been under 
water for a few years, and that he had found 
every one of them strewed over in like manner, 
with blocks of stone. 

'' Another thing that will strike us in passing 
through Jutland is, that we shall often come to 
earthen mounds — tumuli, or barrows, as they are 
called — like those that are so common in many 
parts of England. They are the burial-places of 
the people of by-gone days. Some of them have 
been opened, and have been found to contain 
curious relics of the ancient people ; stone knives 
and hatchets, bronze swords and spear-heads, and 
gold ornaments. Sometimes these curiosities are 
picked up in Denmark without disturbing the 
barrows. A few years ago a man was walking 
over a bog, when his foot sank hito a hole ; he 
pulled it out with some difficulty, and felt some- 
thing sticking to it, which at first he took to be a 
snake, but on looking again he found it was a gold 
neck-ring, such as was worn in former times. He 
sent it to the Museum of Antiquities in Copen- 
hagen, and was paid five hundred dollars (more 
than 507.) for it. Again, in 1859, some labour- 
ers were sent into a field to dig a hole and bury a 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 83 

stone, that lay there in the way of the plough. 
On moving the stone they found three beautiful 
gold armlets underneath, for each of which the 
trustees of the Museum paid them three hundred 
and fifty dollars. 

"At the end of a two days' journey in our 
stuhlwagen, or about ninety miles to the north of 
Kibe, we come upon another inlet of the Baltic — 
a much larger one than any we have met with 
before — the Liimfiord. It extends right across 
Jutland, from east to west, in a very winding 
course, and is studded with islands. In former 
times it was separated from the North Sea by a 
ridge of sand ; but in 1825 the dividing ridge was 
swept away by a violent storm, and the waters of 
the Liimfiord found a second outlet. This change 
of course turned the northern part of Jutland 
into an island. 

"The opening that was made is called the 
Agger Canal. At one time it was deep enough 
to allow vessels di-awing eight feet of water to 
pass through ; but it seems to be gradually filling 
up again, for in 1860 the depth of water had 
decreased to four feet. History tells us that the 
Agger Canal has been opened and shut several 
times within the last thousand years. 

"A httle higher up there was once another 
opening into the North Sea; and how do you 
think it came to be shut up ? 



84 ' DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

"You have discovered by this time that the 
Danes are great people for traditions, ai^d perhaps 
also, that the tales they hand down do not always 
agree with History. Here is what they say about 
Sjorring Fiord, as the opening I have just men- 
tioned was called : — 

" * There was once a wicked Queen of Eng- 
land who quarrelled with the King of Denmark, 
and in order to revenge herself upon him, she 
worked for seven years with seven thousand men, 
till she had cut open a passage between England 
and France, and let the waters of the Atlantic 
through. They came rolling on and on, till they 
reached the coast of Jutland, where they threw 
up beds of sand, that covered all the fields near 
the shore, and stopped up the harbour of Sjor- 
ring. " Never mind," they add, " our turn will 
come in time ; for a prophecy exists that the 
revolted Danish colony of England will again be 
some day recovered by a Danish king." ' 

" The banks of the Liimfiord are generally low, 
and the country near it is flat, but the water 
winds so picturesquely round jutting points of 
land, and between islands, that a passage down 
the fiord is not without interest. It is navigated 
by steamboats. 

" Mors, one of the islands in the Liimfiord, is 
said to have been the birthplace of Hamlet. 

"An uncomfortable windy drive, of forty miles 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 85 

or SO, from the Baltic mouth of the Liimfiord, 
brings us to the most northern part of Denmark, 
the Skaw, which is a sandy joromontory stretch- 
ing out into the waters of the Kattegat. 

"The Uttle village of Skaw, or Skagen, was 
originally built upon the west coast ; but one day 
in 1775, while the inhabitants were in church, a 
storm arose, and brought with it clouds of flying 
sand, which fell upon the ill-fated village. Fields 
and houses were buried by it, and the lower part 
of the church was so quickly and entirely sur- 
rounded, that the congregation was forced to 
escape through the belfry windows. After this 
misfortune the people of Skagen removed their 
village to the less fertile but more secure shore, 
on tlie eastern side of the promontory. 

" The Land's End is marked by a lighthouse, 
which is a very necessary addition to the Skaw, 
as both sides of the coast are very dangerous to 
shipping, the land being low and not easily seen, 
and the water shoaled by sandbanks. A great 
number of vessels are wrecked in the neighbour- 
hood of the Skaw every year. In 1859 ten 
wrecked vessels were lying close together, their 
masts rising above the water. 

" And now, turning our faces southwards, we 
pass again through the sandy country to the 
north of the Liimfiord, and by one of the largest 
bogs in Jutland, the Vild Mose, which Hes to the 



86 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

north-east of the Fiord ; then, crossing the ferry, 
we come to the town of Aalborg (Eel-town), the 
principal port of the Liimfiord. 

" Jutland, as I have already told you, exports 
cattle to England and horses to France, and be- 
sides this, an extensive trade is carried on with 
Norway, Denmark supplying the Norwegians 
with com, which their own country does not 
grow in sufficient quantity, and taking in return 
deals for housebuilding. 

" Forty miles to the south of Aalborg, we shall 
come to Viborg, the capital of Jutland, beautifully 
situated on a hill-side, overlooking a lake. 

" Some miles further to the south-east is Ean- 
ders, another flourishing town on the banks of the 
Guden. This is the only river in Denmark in 
which salmon are caught ; but they are so plentiful 
in it, that a law is said to have been made, which 
provides that no servant in Eanders shall be fed 
upon salmon more than once a week. 

" Ascending the Guden Eiver we come to 
Silkeborg, famous for its paper manufactory ; and 
a two hours' drive fram Silkeborg will bring us to 
the top of the Himmelberg, the highest mountain 
in Denmark. Mountain it is called, although it is 
only five hundred and fifty feet above the sea, not as 
high as many an English hill. There is a fine view 
from the top of it, which will enable us to gain a 
general idea of the south-eastern part'of Jutland. 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 87 

" First, looking inland, we shall observe the 
long string of lakes through which the Guden 
passes ; farm-houses and villages are scattered 
along their shores, and each cluster of houses is 
backed by a wood of oak or beech. At our feet 
Hes a bog, sprinkled over with heaps of peat turfs, 
which have been cut and left to dry in preparation 
for the winter. Then, turning to the south, we 
catch a glimpse of the waters of the Belt, spark- 
ling in the distance, and notice how the coast is 
broken by fiords, such as we have seen in Sleswig, 
and how a red- roofed town nestles round the end 
of each fiord — Kolding in the distance, then 
Veile, then Horsens. Nearer to us, but to the 
east, lies the city of Aarhuus, also on the shores 
of the Belt. Further to the north you may 
observe the castle of Katsholm, by which there 
hangs a tale, with which we will take our leave of 
Jutland, as our lecture has been long enough for 
to-night. 

" Once upon a time ' a bad unjust man died, 
and left his property between his three sons ; but 
the youngest, who was an honest lad, when he 
had received his share, said to himself, " What 
has come with sin must go away with care." So he 
determined to put the money to the water ordeal, 
and cast it into the lake, knowing that what was 
unjustly got would sink and the rest float. He 
did so, and one farthing only floated ; with this 



88 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

farthing he purchased a cat, not far from kitten- 
ing time, and went by ship to a foreign land, 
where rats and mice abomided and cats were un- 
known. There his kittens bore him Httle cats in 
their turn ; he sold them, made a large fortune, 
returned to Jutland, and there built a castle, 
which he called Katsholm.' "* 

* Marryat's ' Jutland and the Danish Isles.' 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 89 



CHAPTER V. 

COPENHAGEN. 

" People are not supposed to know much about 
a country until they have visited its chief town, 
and therefore I intend in this lecture to give you 
some account of Copenhagen, the capital of Den- 
mark. 

*' A voyage of twelve or fourteen hours in a 
passenger-steamer will carry us from our last 
resting-place, — namely, the eastern coast of Jut- 
land* — by the northern shore of Zealand, Den- 
mark's largest island, — through the Sound, the 
narrow passage that separates Zealand from 
Sweden — and into the harbour of Copenhagen, 
* Kiobenhavn,' or Merchants' Haven, as the 
Danes call it. 

'' If our taste is at all like that of other travel- 
lers we shall be sure to be pleased with our first,., 
view of Copenhagen, that is, with its appearance 
from the water. The harbour with its shipping 
in front, the houses of the city rising from the 
water's edge, and its tall towers, and spires, and 
windmills standing out from the background of 



90 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

trees by which the city is surrounded — form in 
the whole a charming picture. 

^' We shall be glad to examine some of its parts 
more closely, but before we do so we will follow 
the advice of experienced travellers, who tell us 
we ought in the first place to try to gain a gene- 
ral idea of the city. Here is a tall church-tower, 
from the top of which we may expect it to be 
spread out before us like a map. So it is ; and 
we see distinctly that Copenhagen is divided into 
three parts ; there is the New Town to the east, 
the Old Town to the west, to the south of them 
the harbour, and to the south of that Christians- 
haven as the third part of the city is called. The 
Old and New Towns are in Zealand, Christians- 
haven is built upon the island of Amak, and the 
channel that separates the two islands is used as 
the harbour. It has a depth of eighteen feet of 
water, so that large vessels can be safely brought 
up to the centre of the city. The convenience of 
this arrangement is increased by canals, that 
branch out to the right and left of the harbour, 
and carry the merchants' goods to the doors of 
their warehouses. 

'' Copenhagen is not nearly so large as London, 
for Denmark, as you know, is a much smaller 
country than England, and therefore it does not 
require so large a capital. The population of 
Copenhagen is only one hundred and thirty thou- 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 91 

sand ; and as to size, five miles, that would only- 
take you in a straight line from one side of Lon- 
don to the other, will carry you round the boun- 
dary of Copenhagen. But you may say — how 
shall we know where the boundary of Copen- 
hagen is ? No one can say exactly where Lon- 
don begins or ends. No, but the boundary of 
Copenhagen is clear enough, for the city is sur- 
rounded with fortifications. Perhaps you do not 
quite understand what I mean." 

*^ No, ma'am," answered several of the boys. 

" I mean, then, that the inhabitants of Copen- 
hagen have found it necessary to protect their 
city by digging a broad deep ditch or moat all 
round it, and by throwing up the earth out of this 
ditch on the town side, in the form of an embank- 
ment, or broad earthen wall, which they have 
finished ofi' and strengthened with masonry. 
The wall, however, does not take a straight line 
round the city, but from time to time juts out 
and then turns in again, forming corners called 
bastions. From these, in case of a siege, the ar- 
tillerymen would work the guns for the defence of 
the city ; but in time of peace the bastions are 
put to another use, for upon each of them now 
stands a windmill, turning com into flour for the 
benefit of the peaceful inhabitants of Copenhagen. 

'^ The tops of the embankments, or ramparts, 
as they are called, are planted with double rows 



92 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

of lime-trees, under the shade of which runs a 
broad road, that forms a pleasant walk round the 
city. The moat below is full of water, and in 
winter time it makes a capital skating-field for 
the young citizens. 

" A little beyond the city walls, to the north- 
east, you may see another fortification, the citadel 
of Fredericshaven, which is a further protection 
to the city. 

" You will want to know whether the Danes 
have ever found occasion to make use of the de- 
fences of their capital ; and 1 am sorry to tell you 
that, twice since the beginning of the present 
century, they have had to turn their guns against 
an English fleet. But I think some of you have 
read the hves of Nelson and Wellington, and if 
so, you ought to know a little about the engage- 
ments I refer to. 

" Yes," said Joe Sharp, " I had the life of 
Nelson out of the library the other day, and I read 
about the battle of Copenhagen in it. The Danes 
would not let us search their ships, as we said we 
had a right to do in war-time, so we sent a fleet 
under Sir Hyde Parker and Nelson, to try and 
bring them to another mind. Nelson led a part 
of the fleet up to Copenhagen, and attacked the 
Danes on Good Friday, 1801. They fought so 
well that for some time it seemed likely they would 
get the victory, but we were too much for them 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 93 

at last, and we took or burnt nearly all their 
ships. Then Nelson sent a message on shore to 
say, ' The brave Danes are the brothers, and 
should never be the enemies of the English,' and 
to ask them to leave off firing. They did so, and 
soon afterwards they made peace with us." 

" Very well," I answered. " I am glad you do 
not forget what you read about. And what have 
you to say, CharUe ? I lent you the ' Life of 
Wellington ' a little while ago ; did you find any- 
thing about Copenhagen in it ?" 

'' Yes, ma'am," answered Charhe, ** there's a 
little bit near the beginning. 'Twas before he 
was called Wellington, while he was Sir Arthur 
Wellesley, that he was sent to Copenhagen." 

Charhe's knowledge did not seem to extend 
further, so I was obUged to continue. *' Our go- 
vernment learnt, in 1807, that the Danish fleet 
was Hkely to fall into the hands of Napoleon Bo- 
naparte, who would of course have used it against 
us. In order to prevent this, we asked the Danes 
to give up theb fleet into our keeping, and when 
they naturally refused, we sent an army under 
Lord Cathcart and Sir Arthur Wellesley, and a 
fleet under Lord Gambier, to attack Copenhagen. 
The Danes were not so well prepared for war as 
they had been in 1801, and although they showed 
great bravery in the defence of their capital, 
holding out against us during a bombardment of 



94 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

three days and three nights, they were in the 
end obUged to submit to our terms. 

" The necessity for the bombardment was deeply 
regretted by our nation at the time it took place, 
and its remembrance ought to be painful to the 
minds of Englishmen, for the damage and loss of 
life that it caused to our ' brave Danish brothers ' 
was immense. The first rocket thrown into the 
city is said to have killed a little girl sitting at 
work by her bedroom window, and the second 
to have killed her mother, who was nursing her 
baby at the street door. Three hundred and five 
houses were burnt to the ground during the three 
days, and many others were set on fire and more 
or less damaged. But let us turn from this sor- 
rowful subject, with the hope that the guns of 
Englishmen and Danes may never more be pointed 
against each other. 

" And now for another look at the city. Sup- 
pose we begin with the island of Amak. At its 
north-eastern corner, the part nearest the sea, is 
the royal dockyard, and the station of the Danish 
navy. Further to the west is the church of Our 
Saviour, with its peculiar spire, round which a 
staircase winds on the outside. Then, there is 
the tall tower of St. Nicholas, used as a station 
for watchmen, who are kept on the look-out 
all night, to warn the people of Copenhagen in 
case of fire. The large market-place close to St. 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 95 

Nicholas is called the Amager Tory, and is the 
vegetable market for the city. Those groups of 
gaily-dressed girls standing by their baskets are 
Amak peasants, the descendants of some Dutch 
colonists who were brought over from Holland 
about three hundred and fifty years ago, to teach 
the Danes the art of gardening. They still keep 
themselves distinct from their neighbours, wear 
thefr own costume, and speak their own language. 
They also keep to their original trade, and raise 
a plentiful supply of vegetables for the Copenhagen 
market. 

" From the Amager Torv we can cross by a 
drawbridge to the Old Town. Here the first 
building we shall notice i& the Exchange, with its 
curious, graceful spfre, made out of four bronze 
dragons, their heads placed downwards, and their 
bodies twisted together and pointed towards the 
sky. Following the course of the canal which 
runs by the Exchange; we soon come to the enor- 
mous palace of Christiansborg, six stories high 
and four hundred feet in length. The canal 
comes close up to it, for it seems as if no build- 
ing would be thought complete in Denmark with- 
out standing or running water on one side or the 
other. On the north side of the palace square is 
the Thonvaldsen Museum ; but as we must return 
to these buildings by-and-by, we will pass them 
over for the present. A little further on stands 



96 DENMABK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

Trinity Chnrch, distinguished by its massive round 
tower originally built for an observatory. An 
inclined plane, fourteen feet wide, winds round it 
inside instead of a staircase, and it is said that 
when Peter the Great of Eussia was staying in 
Copenhagen, he drove his empress to the top of 
the tower in a carriage and four. Travellers say 
that it would be quite possible to drive up, but 
that coming down would be the difficulty, as there 
is no room to turn a carriage at the top." 

Will Jones, " Maybe they took off their 
leaders, and backed down." 
' Tom Rule. " I think they had better have 
taken out all the horses, and had some men to 
let it down." 

Joe Sharp. '* Perhaps the emperor did not 
care what became of his carriage after he had got 
it up. Such a great man could soon get another, 
I should think." 

*' History does not tell us," I continued, " what 
became of the carriage, so each of you has a right 
to his own conjecture. But to go on with the 
city. A little more to the west is the Frue Kirk 
(Our Lady's Church), the Cathedral of Copen- 
hagen. It is the successor of one that was de- 
stroyed in the bombardment of 1807, so we must 
not say too much about its bare brick walls and 
plain oblong shape. Close beside it stands an- 
other building, more famous for use than beauty ; 



DENMAEK AND ITS PEOPLE. 97 

it is the University, where eleven hundred Danish 
youths are receiving an excellent education. 

" Besides this institution there are many ad- 
mirable schools in Copenhagen, for, as I have 
told you, the Danes are very careful about the 
education of their children. No doubt it is in con- 
sequence of this that there are many instances 
in Danish history of people having risen from a 
humble station in life to positions of eminence. 
I have not time to mention many of them, but 
while we pass along the brick wall of the Uni- 
versity, I will give you two or three examples. 

'' The celebrated Admiral Wessel, or Thor- 
denskiold, 'began life as a tailor's apprentice, and 
rose to command a Danish fleet in his twenty- 
sixth year. 

" Holberg, a famous Danish historian and dra- 
matic writer, after he had passed his examinations 
at the University of Copenhagen, set out on his 
travels through Europe, with a flute, and less than 
six pounds of money, in his pocket. By the time 
.he reached Amsterdam his money was reduced to 
fourteen shillings, but he found a resource in his 
flute, which he would play at the peasants' doors 
of an evening, and thus earn a supper and a 
night^s lodging. In this humble manner he 
travelled through France, Germany, and Holland ; 
then he crossed over to England, where he found 
some employment in teaching ; but he was still so 

H 



98 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

poor that the undergraduates of Oxford proposed 
making a collection for him. However, he de- 
clined their help, and returned to Denmark, where 
in the end he became famous as a writer, and was 
raised to the rank of baron. He died a rich man, 
and left his money as an endowment to a school 
for the sons of Danish nobles. 

'' Then again there was Thorwaldsen, the great 
sculptor. He was the son of a man who gained 
his livelihood by carving figure-heads and other 
ornaments for ships. His parents sent him to 
the free drawing classes connected with the 
Academy of Arts in Copenhagen, when he was 
only eleven years old. After studying for some 
time, he gained the first prize, which was a tra- 
velling studentship. The history of his struggles 
with poverty, and of how success came to him at 
last, is very interesting, and I shall hope to tell 
you more about him another time. But at present 
we will return to our survey of the Old Town. 

'^ Its streets are crooked and narrow, and their 
pavement very bad ; but at least we have plenty 
of room to pick our way, for there is none of that 
bustle that we are accustomed to in London. 
The fact is, that Copenhagen is not a place of 
great trade, and there are no manufactories of 
any extent within the city; indeed the only notable 
one is the government manufactory of china. 

'^ The shops contain plenty of the necessaries 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 99 

of life, but are not very full of its luxuries. These 
are not in mucli demand in Copenhagen, for the 
Danes are, as I have tried to make you under- 
stand, a plain-living people — few of them are 
what we should consider badly off, but on the 
other hand, few of them are rich ; there is scarcely 
any one in the country who cannot provide him- 
self with a good coat of homespun cloth, but there 
are very few ladies' wardrobes full of silk dresses 
and lace mantles. What the Copenhagen ladies 
and peasants' wives do spend their money upon, 
when they have any to spare, is jewellery ; not 
the trumpery sixpenny brooches and rings that 
our girls buy on a fair day, but real substantial 
gold and silver brooches and clasps, which are 
worked up very tastefully by the jewellers in 
Copenhagen, as may be seen by the display in 
their shops. 

'' Other shops that attract the notice of strangers 
in Copenhagen are the furriers'. They generally 
ornament their windows with stuffed figures of 
the animals whose skins they sell, and among 
them are several kinds that do not often appear 
in the EngUsh market. For instance, they 
have the white fox of the north ; the Green- 
land fox, with its fur of a bluish hue powdered 
with white, and the dark gray Norwegian squirrel. 
But the eider duck is the staple of a Danish 
furrier; its down stuffs the square beds that 



100 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

Danes and Germans are so fond of covering tLem- 
selves up with ; its breast is made into children's 
muffs, and large blankets are formed by whole skins 
being sewn together. The Danish furriers make 
very pretty patchwork carpets and stool-covers, 
out of the chippings of different sorts of skins. 

" The principal shopping street of Copenhagen 
is the Oster Gade, or East Street, so named from 
the direction in which it runs ; it ends in an open 
place, called the Kongens Ny Torv, or the King's 
New Market. This is one of the largest squares 
in Copenhagen, and from it twelve streets branch 
out into as many different quarters of the city. 
We will take one of them leading into the New 
Town, which is the fashionable part of Copen- 
hagen. The streets in it are wider and straighter 
than those in the Old Town, and the houses are 
more often covered with stucco. They are not 
stone, for you may remember I have told you 
there is hardly any building stone to be found 
in Denmark, so that even the churches and palaces 
have to be built of red brick. 

" The houses in Copenhagen are generally 
large, but very few people have one to themselves ; 
most families are contented with a floor or flat, as 
they are in Edinburgh and Paris. 

*' The Amalien Gade in the New Town con- 
tains the modest palace in which the Princess 
Alexandra was bom, and in which her parents 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 101 

lived till their accession to the throne. This 
street opens into the Amalienborg Platz, a 
square formed by four palaces, one on each side, 
and all four ahke or nearly so. They were 
built by four noblemen in the last century; 
now, one of them is inhabited by the Prince and 
Princess William of Hesse-Cassel — the grand- 
parents of the Princess Alexandra— another by 
the Queen Dowager of Denmark, while the two 
others are used as Government Offices. A 
little further to the north we come to the large 
castle or palace of Kosenborg, surrounded by its 
gardens, which are open to the public. In this 
quarter, too, is a fine hospital for the sick ; and 
not far from it, the eastern gate of the city. 

" You would like to know what is to be seen 
beyond the fortifications. I will tell you. First, 
not far from the east gate there is the citadel ; 
beyond that, to the north-east, are the waters of 
the Sound ; and along the shore runs a fine broad 
road, planted with trees that make it a very 
pleasant place to walk in. Further inland, but 
beyond the citadel, a good many pretty country 
houses are scattered about, on the borders of an 
extensive wood called the Deer Park. Outside 
the north gate is the principal cemetery, laid out 
like a garden. Further to the west comes the 
suburb of Vesterbro, and a handsome avenue of 
limes and chestnuts, leading to the railway station. 



102 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

On one side of the avenue you may see the tea- 
gardens — in which the citizens of Copenhagen 
spend as much time as the people of Kiel ; on 
the other side is a large theatre, which furnishes 
them with entertainment for their winter evenings. 

'' I told you, in a former lecture, that the 
Danes have no religious scruples about going to 
the play, which they look upon as. a harmless, if 
not a profitable, amusement. But then they are 
very careful — more so than any other people — to 
insist that every actor and actress engaged in 
their theatres shall be a person of respectability ; 
so that when they take their families to a play, it 
is in full confidence that nothing will be brought 
before them that would be improper for Christian 
men and women to see or hear. 

" And now that we have finished our survey of 
the city and its neighbourhood, I should like to 
give you a short account of one or two of the 
museums for which Copenhagen is famous. They 
are all open to the public, and the Danish pea- 
sants are frequent visitors to them. 

*' We will begin with the Thorwaldsen Museum 
— which was built after the death of the sculptor 
in 1844, and contains all his models and sketches 
(in clay, plaster, or on paper), as well as casts 
from all his marble statues. His life's work is 
represented here, and visitors are enabled to trace 
the gradual progress of each of his famous statues 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 103 

— how the idea as it first struck him was sketched 
out on paper, and how one improvement after 
another occurred to him, as he fashioned his 
working models in clay ; till, at last, they look 
upon the completion of his idea in the finished 
marble — or more hkely in a cast from it — the 
marble itself being probably in some foreign 
country, as England or Eussia. 

'' The tomb of the sculptor is in the court of 
the museum, and around it are several small 
rooms fitted up exactly like those in which Thor- 
waldsen spent his last days. ' You may imagine 
yourself,' says Mr. Marryat, ^ in the salon of the 
artist himself. Here are arranged his furniture, 
his pictures as they existed in his lifetime, his 
tables, chairs, his very inkstand. Protected by a 
glass case stands the model of a head of Luther, 
finished, on which the sculptor worked the very 
day of his death. Against the walls hangs his 
last sketch. . . . There is something solemn and 
touching in this finale to our wanderings [through 
the museum] ; it brings the sculptor home to 
your mind, and I have always observed that 
visitors leave this chamber somewhat quiet and 
subdued, speak little when there, and in a voice 
half whisper.' 

'* One of Thorwaldsen's finest works is in the 
Frue Kirk, which you will remember is the ca- 
thedral of Copenhagen. It consists of figures. 



104 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

larger than life, of our Lord and His twelve 
Apostles. They are placed at the east end of the 
church, our Lord in the centre, and six Apostles 
on either side. There is St. John, beautiful and 
holy, writing his gospel from inspiration; St. 
James, in his palmer's hat and staff, ready to go 
forth on his mission to ^preach the gospel to 
every creature;' St. Peter, with his keys; and 
St. Paul, in place of Judas Iscariot. Our Lord 
stands behind the altar, dignified, yet benign; 
' mild and exquisitely beautiful in countenance, 
He extends His arms to those who seek conso- 
lation, and appears as though He were pro- 
nouncing the Divine words — '' Come unto Me all 
ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will 
give you rest." '* 

'* Other works of Thorwaldsen's are found in 
the Christiansborg Palace, that huge building 
close to the Thorwaldsen Museum. You must 
not think it is useless because it is ugly. On the 
contrary, it contains a great deal that is worth 
seeing. First of all there are the state apart- 
ments of the royal family, and the Eiddersaal, or 
Knights' Hall, which is said to be the largest 
room in Europe. Then there is the Eoyal Chapel ; 
the Eoyal Picture Gallery; and the Eoyal Li- 
brary, containing four hundred thousand volumes. 
And besides all these, the palace houses one of 
* Marryat's * Jutland and the Danish Isles.' 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 105 

the most interesting museums in Copenhagen, 
that of Northern Antiquities. 

" I have told you that curious weapons and 
ornaments are often picked up in the fields in 
Denmark. A great number of these have been 
brought together and carefully arranged in this 
museum, so as to form quite a history of the an- 
cient inhabitants of the country. It seems that 
in very old times the people of Denmark were as 
barbarous as the savage tribes of Africa and Me- 
lanesia. They did not understand the use of 
metals, but made their knives and axes and 
arrow-heads of flint. A great many of these 
weapons are to be seen in the museum, classed 
under the Age of Stone. Next comes the Age of 
Bronze, when men learnt to work in copper and 
tin, and used gold for ornaments. Still they 
were without iron, which does not appear till the 
third, or Iron Age. The authorities of the 
museum tell us that they beheve iron to have 
been introduced into Denmark in the fifth cen- 
tury, and they consider the Iron Age to have 
lasted till the introduction of Christianity among 
their ancestors, in the ninth century. 

" The later, or Christian remains, are classed by 
themselves, and it is among them that the Dag- 
mar Cross is placed. Perhaps you may have 
heard that an exact imitation of this cross formed 
the wedding present that the Princess Alexandra 



106 DENMAEK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

received from King Frederic VII. I have al- 
. ready given you a part of the history of Queen 
Dagmar, so that I hope you will feel some interest 
in her cross. It was given her by King Walde- 
mar when she asked her 'morning boon' — the 
removal of the plough-tax ; and after her death it 
was laid in the grave with her. Some years ago, 
her tomb, at Eingsted in Zealand, was opened, 
and then it was taken out and brought to this 
museum. It is supposed to have been the work 
of an eastern artist, and is remarkable as being 
the earliest enamel that is known to exist. Queen 
Dagmar died in 1212, and therefore the cross is, 
at leasts somewhat more than six hundred and 
fifty years old. It is about an inch and a half 
long, and is enamelled on one side with the figure 
of our Lord upon the cross, and on the other with 
portraits of the Blessed Virgin and four other 
saints. A piece of the wood of our Lord's cross 
— or what was thought to be so — is believed to 
have been enclosed in it. 

" And now, having brought down the me- 
morials of Old Denmark to comparatively modern 
times, let us turn once more to the history of the 
day, by stepping from the Museum of Northern 
Antiquities into another part of the Palace of 
Christiansborg, in which the meetings of the 
Danish parliament are held. 

" There was a time, not far back, when the 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 107 

Danes had no National Assembly worthy of 
the name of Parhament; they were governed 
by an absolute monarch, whose word was law. 
• But the late king, Frederic VII., granted them 
a constitution, and they now enjoy ^s much 
freedom as any nation in Europe. Law is well 
and speedily administered among them, and they 
have one institution that is well worthy of notice ; 
it is called the Court of Eeconciliation. 

" When a man wants to go to law with his 
neighbour, before he is allowed to bring his cause 
to the judge he is obliged to take it to a com- 
missioner, whose special business it is to try and 
reconcile the two parties. The commissioner 
hears both sides of the case, without allowing any 
lawyer to be called in, and then gives his advice 
as to how the quarrel should be settled. In this 
manner many tiresome and expensive lawsuits are 
prevented, and better justice is obtained than in 
the settlement of the following case : — 

" It was some time before Courts of Eecon- 
ciliation were introduced into Denmark, that a 
landlord and a landlady quarrelled about the 
ownership of a field. After the dispute had 
lasted a long while, the landlady promised a com- 
promise. Let me, said she, sow the next crop in 
the field, and tiU that has ripened the field shall 
be mine ; but as soon as the harvest of what I 
shall sow is reaped, I will give the field up to 



108 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

you. The landlord agreed ; and the lady forth- 
with put her seed into the ground. And what 
do you think she sowed ? Not wheat, nor clover, 
but beech-mast! And the wood that sprang 
from her seed was standing a few years since. 

^' But to return to Copenhagen ; — we may 
finish our review of the city and its curiosities 
with some notice of the Castle of Eosenborg. 
This palace, like that of Christiansborg, is too 
large to be conveniently used as a place of resi- 
dence, even for royalty, so the kings of Den- 
mark have given it up for a Museum of valuables 
and curiosities connected with the History of 
Denmark. There are many remarkable things 
to be seen in it, and some of them seem to show 
that the Danish kings, of a few generations back, 
were very extravagant in the money they spent in 
ornaments. For example : here is a wonderful 
set of horse-trappings, not made of leather, nor 
even of velvet or of cloth of gold, but glittering 
all over with pearls and precious stones of im- 
mense value. These costly housings were a wed- 
ding present from Christian IV. to his eldest son. 

" Here also are specimens of ancient drinking- 
eups, of a size that has, happily, gone quite out 
of fashion in modern times. One of them, made 
of silver gilt, is two feet high, and is modelled in 
the form of a horse ; the body being intended to 
hold the liquor, which can only be drunk by 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 109 

taking off the head. This horse was given to a 
Danish king by the city of Hamburg. Another 
gigantic silver cup is celebrated for its beautiful 
workmanship, and has the likeness of a German 
castle chased upon it. 

" The principal room in every Danish palace 
is called the Kidder Saal, that is, the Knight's 
Hall. That of Eosenborg contains the ivory 
coronation chair of the kings of Denmark. 
- '* In another room the crown jewels are kept, 
together with three silver lions, larger than life. 
These, I should tell you, are the emblems, or 
arms, of Denmark, and it is the custom to carry 
them in all royal processions : when a king dies, 
they are taken to his funeral ; when his successor 
is crowned, they appear again. 

" Other rooms in the Castle of Eosenborg are 
hung round with royal portraits, and among them 
are Ukenesses of several English princesses, who 
became at different times queens of Denmark ; for 
the marriage that has lately caused so much re- 
joicing in England is by no means the first that 
has taken place between the royal families of 
Great Britain and Denmark. Perhaps you would 
like to know what others history tells us of. To 
begin, then, with times long past : — Shakspeare 
tells us that the Danish prince, Hamlet, was 
married to an English princess. A httle later. 
Queen Thyra, the builder of the Danevirke, is 



110 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

said to have been brought from England to 
become the wife of King Gorm the Old. She was 
a queen of whom England may be proud, for she 
gained the love of her subjects so completely, that 
they gave her the surname of Danebod, the Pride 
of the Danes. Then in the eleventh century^ as 
perhaps you may remember, Canute the Great, 
the first of the three Danish kings of England, 
married Emma, the widow of the Saxon king, 
Ethelred the Unready. 

'' Oh, yes," said Joe Sharp, " we read about 
that the other night, and Emma was the mother 
of Hardicanute, who reigned in England after his 
half-brother Harold." 

'^ Yes," I answered, " you are right. I am afraid 
that the conduct of Harold and Hardicanute did 
not raise the character of the Danes in the opinion 
of the English nation; at any rate after their 
deaths I am not aware that any intermarriage 
took place between the royal families of the two 
countries for nearly four hundred years ; but in 
1406, Philippa, the daughter of Henry IV. of 
England, became the wife of Eric, King of Den- 
mark, Norway, and Sweden. She was as much 
beloved by her people as Thyra Danebod had 
been ; and she had the opportunity of doing them 
a great service ; for while her husband was away 
in another part of his dominions, Copenhagen 
was suddenly attacked by a strong body of pirates. 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. Ill 

Philippa took the defence of the city upon herself, 
and acted so skilfully and bravely that the pirates 
were driven away with great loss. They had 
made so sure of success that they had brought 
with them casks of salt, which they intended to 
use in salting down the cattle for which Zealand 
is famous. 

" Nearly two hundred years after the time of 
Philippa, King James VI. of Scotland (who af- 
terwards reigned in England as James I.) asked 
for the hand of the Danish princess, Anne. She 
consented to become his bride, and set out for her 
new country. But there were no steamboats in 
those days, to make their way against wind and 
tide, and the royal fleet was driven by stress of 
weather into a Norwegian harbour. Meanwhile 
James was anxiously expecting his bride, and 
when week after week had passed away without 
bringing her into port, he gallantly determined 
to go in search of her himself. He found her in 
the harbour where she had taken refuge, and there 
he married her ; then he took her on to Copen- 
hagen, where he paid a visit, some months in 
length, to the royal family of Denmark. 

" And now we come to the time of the Enghsh 
Queen Anne : do you remember whom she mar- 
ried?" 

Joe Sharp. *' I think it was Prince George 
of Denmark." 



H2 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

" Yes, you are right ; he was a quiet, well- 
meaning man, without much character. 

" The next intermarriage between the two royal 
families was in the days of George II., whose 
daughter Louise became the wife of Frederic V. of 
Denmark. She died in her youth, but not before 
she had gained the character of being as good as 
she was beautiful. Even now the Danish peasants 
tell one another of her kind deeds, and remark, 
' It was a sad day for Denmark when she died.' 

" The marriage that will close our list is not, 
I am sorry to say, a pleasant one to dwell upon. 
It is that of Caroline Matilda, the sister of 
George III., with Christian VII. of Denmark. 
She was only fifteen when she was married ; he 
was much older, and moreover, a few years after 
their marriage he became imbecile. Unfortu- 
nately for them both, he was surrounded by un- 
principled advisers, who had their own reasons 
for wishing to get rid of the queen. They poi- 
soned her husband's mind against her, and so 
excited his jealousy that, in a fit of half-madness, 
the weak-minded king ordered her to be instantly 
arrested. She was seized in the middle of the 
night, hurried, only half dressed, into a carriage, 
and carried ofi" to the fortress of Kronborg, where 
she was kept a close prisoner tiU her brother sent 
a fleet to demand her release. He provided a 
residence for her at Zell in Hanover, but she only 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 113 

survived her trouble for three years, and died at 
the early age of twenty-three. 

" Some of the pictures in the Eosenborg gal- 
lery recall events that were ludicrous rather than 
melancholy. For instance, one relating to the 
coronation of Frederic IV., represents a negro 
boy holding a large mastiff by a chain. It is 
said that the king was so fond of this dog that he 
would not part from it even during his coronation. 
The dog was brought into the cathedral, and 
given into the charge of a negro page, with orders 
that he should on no account leave go of its 
chain. But the poor boy soon became dazzled 
by the splendour of the scene before him, and the 
chain dropped out of his hands. The service 
proceeded quietly till the archbishop came for- 
ward to place the crown upon the king's head, 
when the dog, evidently thinking that some harm 
was intended, rushed to the throne, placed his 
fore-paws on his master's knees, and growled 
defiance at the archbishop. It was not without 
trouble that King '^Frederic succeeded in quieting 
the dog, and inducing the archbishop to continue 
the coronation. 

" Eosenborg Castle also contains many memo- 
rials of its builder, Christian IV., a favourite 
monarch of the Danes. Their national anthem 
refers to a sea-fight in which he commanded his 
own fleet." 



114 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

Will Jones. '' I shonld like to kaow what the 
Danes sing instead of * God save the Queen.' " 

" Well then, I will finish my lecture to-night 
by giving you the words of the Danish National 
Anthem, that is to say, a translation of them by 
Mary Howitt. The battle referred to in the 
first verse, was fought against the Swedes in 
the year 1644. King Christian was severely 
wounded in it, and twelve men fell, dead or dis- 
abled, close to him— struck by the splinters of a 
piece of timber that had been shattered by a 
cannon-ball — but the king would not move from 
his post till the battle was won. Niels Juel was 
a celebrated Danish admiral ; and so was Wessel 
or Tordenshield, as I have already told you. 
Now for the poem. 

* King Christian stood by the lofty mast. 

In smoke and night ; 
His sword dealt blows so fell and fast, 
Through Swedish helms and skulls it passed 

Mid smoke and night. 
" Fly !" cried they ; " fly ! fly all who can — 
Who dare face Denmark's Christian 

In fight ?" 
' Niels Juel, he heard the tempest blow ; 

Now for your life ! 
Aloft he bade the red flag go, 
Stroke upon stroke he dealt the blow. 
They cried aloud whilst tempests blow, 

. Now for your life ! 
" Fly !" cried they all, " to shelter fly ! 
For who can Denmark's Juel defy 

In strife I" 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 115 

* sea ! the fires of Wessel clave 

Thy death-smoke dread ; 

Here to thy bosom fled the brave ; 

Bound him flashed terror and the grave ; 

The ramparts heard the roar which drave 

Through death-smoke dread ; 

From Denmark thundered Tordenshield, 

To heaven for aid they all appealed, 
And fled. 

^ Thou Danish path of fame and might, 

O gloomy sea ! 
Keceive thy friend, who for the right 
Dares danger face in death's despite, 
Proudly as thou the tempest's might, 

O gloomy sea ! 
And lead me on, though storms may rave. 
Through strife and victory to my grave, 

With thee !' " 

Cliarlie Short, " I should not like to change 
our ^ God save the Queen ' for such words as 
those." 

'' No, indeed," said I, " the spirit in them is very- 
different ; and though we may admire the daring 
bravery of the Danes, we cannot but notice the want 
of religious tone in their national anthem. What 
a contrast is their gloomy address ix) the sea, to 
the beautiful words that have been handed down 
to us, as the expression of what ought to be the 
feehng and prayer of every Englishman — 

* On Thee our hopes we fix, 
God save us all !* " 



116 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 



CHAPTEE VI. 

THE DANISH ISLES. 

*' If you look on the map of Europe you will see 
a group of islands lying between continental Den- 
mark and Sweden ; these are what are meant by 
the Danish Isles. Zealand and Funen, the two 
largest of them, lie to the north ; while the south 
part of the group consists of a chain of islets, of 
which Langeland, LoUand, Falster, and Moen are 
the principal. You will see Copenhagen, that I 
have already described to you, marked in Zealand. 
'^ But before telling you much about the islands 
themselves, I have a few words to say upon the 
§ea that surrounds them ; so now look at the map 
once more. These islands are just at the mouth 
of the Baltic, to which they leave only three nar- 
row entrances — the Sound, between the coasts of 
Sweden and Zealand; the Great Belt, between 
Zealand and Funen ; and the Little Belt, between 
Funen on one side and Jutland and Sleswig on 
the other. Every vessel that enters or leaves the 
Baltic must pass through one or other of these 
entrances, but the Sound is the one most fre- 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 117 

quented by foreign shipping; about a hundred 
vessels a day pass through it during the summer 
months, and nearly twenty thousand in the course 
of a year. Every one of these vessels was" for- 
merly stopped, and made to pay toll, at the Danish 
fortress of Kronborg, but the ' Sound dues ' have 
lately been put an end to. The navigation of the 
Sound is very diflScult, from the shallows with 
which it abounds : large vessels can pass through 
it, but not without careful pilotage. Nelson, who 
took this route in 1801, is said to have been 
almost worn out with fatigue and anxiety by the 
time he reached Copenhagen. 

" The narrowest part of the Sound is almost at 
its entrance, between the Danish town of Elsinore 
and the Swedish one of Helsingborg, where it is 
only two miles and a half wide. The scenery of 
its shores has been sketched as follows by a 
modern traveller : — 

" ' On entering the Sound from the north, the 
bold steep rocks of Kullen Point, crowned with a 
lighthouse, and hills of a high and dark appear- 
ance are seen on the Swedish side. In the same 
direction at night the horizon glows with the fires 
of adjoining coal-pits. The coast soon becomes 
low to the south, and is of moderate height at 
Helsingborg, beyond which it remains cUffy, but 
loses all character of elevation, and is entirely 
destitute of wood. 



118 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

'^ ^ The Danish side of the channel is of 
greater interest and more pleasing aspect. Its 
low shores descend in light green slopes to 
the water's edge, and with few exceptions are 
adorned with beech-woods all the way to Copen- 
hagen.'* 

'' The middle passage into the Baltic, or the 
Great Belt, is the broadest of the three entrances, 
varying in width from eight to twenty miles. 
Its navigation is as difficult as that of the Sound, 
but it has a greater average depth of water, and 
for that reason it was chosen by the French and 
English admirals in the late war with Eussia, as 
the passage by which their fleets should enter the 
Baltic. 

'' The Little Belt is the narrowest of the three 
straits, the least frequented, and the most dan- 
gerous, owing to the strong current which runs 
through it from south to north. At its narrowest 
part it is not broader than a wide river, but 
towards the south it opens out to a width of ten 
miles. 

'' The coast scenery of the two Belts, and 
among the little isles to the south of them, is said 
to be particularly pleasing. ' There is no bold 
scenery, but it is often picturesque, and eminently 
beautiful with tolerable summer weather. Strik- 
ing blendings of land, water, and sky are to be 
* * The Baltic, its Gates, Shores, and Cities,* by Milner. 



DENMAKK AND ITS PEOPLE. 119 

seen in almost every direction, while the white 
sails of merchantmen, the boats of pilots and 
fishermen, rich meadows and noble beech-woods, 
neat churches, windmills, and homesteads, give 
variety and life to the landscape. Vegetation is 
everywhere luxuriant, and long retains a vernal 
appearance, owing to the humidity of the atmo- 
sphere and of the soil. When the plains of Ger- 
many are brown and ashy with the summer heat, 
the isles of Denmark delight the eye with a fresh 
bright green; and as truly deserve the title of 
emerald as our sister kingdom.'* 

'' Another characteristic of Danish landscape is 
its soft, smooth, gracefully curved outline. Na- 
tive writers take this as the type of their national 
scenery, and appropriately call their country ' the 
Land of the White-necked Swan.' 

"It is natural that the people of this sea-girt 
land, whose very doors, so to speak, are washed 
by the waves, should be good seamen, and accord- 
ingly we find that the first mention history makes 
of the Danes is to record their prowess on the 
waters. I dare say you may have read stories of 
some of the Danish or Norwegian vikings, as 
their sea-captains were called; at any rate, a 
good deal has been handed down to us about 
them, and it is beUeved that their ships were 
roaming over the sea, from the stormy coasts of 
* MUner's ' Baltic, its Gates, Shores, and Cities.' 



120 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

the North Cape to the sunny shores of Spain and 
Italy, at a time when the inhabitants of our 
island were contented with launching their wicker 
boats on lakes and rivers. So fond were these 
vikings of the sea, that, it is said, when one of 
them felt his last hour approach, he would beg 
his friends to carry 'him on board his favourite 
vessel ; then, with his own hands, he would set 
fire to the ship, and await his chosen death with 
calmness. This was of course in heathen times; 
Christianity taught them better things, and after 
the days of St. Anscar, this and their other 
heathen customs were gradually laid aside. 

'* From the eleventh century, we hear nothing 
more of the plundering expeditions of the vihings ; 
but the Danes still retained their love of the sea, 
and in later times they have shown their prowess 
in many a sea-fight with the Swede; while in 
the mercantile marine their sailors still bear a 
high character. Their vessels trade with their 
own colonies in Iceland, Greenland, and the West 
Indies; take a part in the northern whale and 
seal fisheries ; bring their own com and cattle to 
England ; fetch deal from Norway ; and obtain, 
besides, a good deal of employment as carriers 
for other nations, particularly in the Mediterrarfean 
trade. 

"Nearer home, a considerable number of the 
population of Jutland and the Isles are employed 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 121 

as fishermen. The waters in which they chiefly 
ply their trade, the Baltic and its inlets, are not 
nearly so salt as those of the ocean, and therefore 
their fish are not exactly like those of the English 
coasts. Cod, haddock, whiting, herrings, are all 
found, but they are much smaller than our own. 
The Baltic herring, or stromming as it is gene- 
rally called, is about the size of our sprat. Flat 
fish, such as flounders, plaice, &c., that like 
brackish water, grow large and thrive in the 
Baltic. 

'' I have told you that Denmark is colder than 
England during the winter. This difference of 
climate is marked by the fringe of ice that gathers 
round the Danish shores every year, preventing 
vessels from putting out to sea for about three 
months out of the twelve. We have no such 
break in the navigation round our own shores ; 
but then we must remember that fresh water 
freezes more quickly than salt, and that this fact 
partly accounts for the great quantity of ice that 
is found in the Baltic. 

" Spring comes to the Danes later than it does 
to us, but when once it arrives leaves and flowers 
come out more rapidly. May and June are beau- 
tiful months ; then comes a hot summer, broken 
by fogs and showers. By the end of October the 
weather has become decidedly raw and chilly, and 
soon afterwards winter begins to close in. 



122 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

^'JSTeither Jutland nor the Danish Isles possess 
any mines or quarries of metals or minerals ; at 
least the only exception is in Bornholm, an island 
in the Baltic that belongs to Denmark, but can 
hardly be said to form one of the Danish group. 
There coal is found, and blue marble, but neither 
is worked to any great extent. The occupations 
of the people of the Danish Isles are, therefore, 
principally agriculture, fishing, and the manufac- 
ture of their own clothes, and of the simple house- 
hold articles required for their own use. 

" There are many large farms in the islands, 
but perhaps, on the whole, the farms are smaller 
than in the continental part of Denmark, and the 
buildings are not always placed under one roof. 
Cattle, horses, corn, and rape-seed are exported 
from the islands, as well as from the other pro- 
vinces. Funen, which means the beautiful, is 
celebrated for its fertility, and Moen for the 
romantic scenery of its caves and chalk cliffs. 

" The people in all the islands are well off and 
comfortably housed, and every country cottage has 
a little flower plot belonging to it. What a pity 
it is that some of you Enghsh lads do not take a 
little more pains with your gardens ! There is 
nothing that travellers in Denmark notice with 
more pleasure than the love of the Danes for 
flowers : they tell how pretty their cottages look 
with honeysuckles and roses climbing up them ; 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 123 

how their wmdows are set oS with carnations and 
balsams ; and how soon they felt at home in the 
inns where the landladies had ornamented their 
rooms with sweet-smelling nosegays. 

'' The Danes are usually about a middle height ; 
^ they seldom have marked features, but are gene- 
rally well-looking, with fair hair and clear blue 
eyes. The Islanders are not so strongly made as 
the Jutlanders, for although of about the same 
height, their frames are less compact. They are 
mild in disposition, steady, persevering, and in- 
dustrious, but not energetic in their habits.'* 

" ' The gift of the Dane,' says a native writer, 
' is strength. He is susceptible of high, strong, 
and enduring feelings, but he is not easily roused ; 
he has more common sense than wit, and being of 
a patient disposition looks at every side of a ques- 
tion, and requires much time for deliberation.' 
He is generally clean, honest, sober^ kind-hearted, 
and hospitable according to his means. * We 
shall always remember with pleasure,' says one 
traveller, * the numerous instances where indi- 
viduals went out of their way to do acts of kind- 
ness for us that were uncalled for, and the more 
conspicuous when coming, as they did, from 
strangers on whom we had not the slightest 
claim. 't 

'' The same writer speaks also of their poUte- 
* Scott's * Danes and Swedes.* t Ibid. 



124 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

ness, which, lie says, ' is not a mere conventional 
manner, derived from education, but that desire to 
oblige which is born of the kindlier feelings of our 
nature, and springs alone from the generous im- 
pulses of the heart. We have never come in 
contact with any other people possessing this 
characteristic in so high a degree.' 

'^ Do you not think that some of us might take 
a lesson from the Danes on this subject? I 
should be sorry to believe that the English 
people are wanting in good feeling and real 
kindness of heart, but I am afraid we often forget, 
or don't choose to give ourselves the trouble to 
show our good- will in those little acts that form 
what is called ^ politeness.' So, at least, foreigners 
who have visited England, very generally say of 
us. It is a pity, is it not, that we should get a 
bad character through want of a Httle care ? 

" That is one cause of our want of poUteness ; 
but perhaps, too, a part of it springs from another 
source, for I fancy that some of our English lads 
think they are showing their ' manliness ' by put- 
ting on a little roughness of manner. I should 
like these young men to observe, that the Danes, 
who are as free and brave a people as ourselves, 
do not agree with them, but take care to be 
polite, even to strangers. They choose a much 
better way of showing their self-respect, namely, 
by keeping themselves and their families off the 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 125 

parish. As their wages are low, and they are 
subject to misfortune in the way of illness, &c., 
as much as other folk, this can only be done by a 
good deal of prudent care and forethought ; and 
here, again, the Danes show themselves superior 
to some of our English workpeople. 

*^ When a young Dane finds a girl who pleases 
him, and who consents to become his bride, they 
are solemnly and openly engaged, * betrothed,' as 
the Danes call it, but they do not think of mar- 
rying till they have laid by enough to enable them 
to start comfortably in life. They often wait for 
several years after they are betrothed, in order to 
find a comfortable cottage, and get together a 
good stock of furniture, bedding, and clothes be- 
fore they marry; and the consequence is, as I 
have said, that by beginning prudently they are 
able to live in comfort and keep off the parish to 
the end of their days. 

" I have one other observation to make on the 
Danish peasant, and it is this: That however 
prosperous and contented he may be now, things 
have not always gone well with him. A hun- 
dred years ago he was a dependent serf, and as 
miserable, poor, and discontented as any English 
pauper. And what has brought about the change 
in his condition? Principally, as it seems to 
me, two things : first, the freedom that has been 
given him; and secondly, the education he has 



126 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

received. One has raised him from a state of 
hopeless dependence ; the other has taught him 
how to use and keep his newly-gained self- 
respect. Now Englishmen, as we know, have 
long enjoyed the liberty that is new to the Dane ; 
and as for education, it has certainly been brought 
of late years within the reach of all of ns. Let 
me beg each of you to consider what a difference 
there might be in our cottage homes, how much 
less misery, and pauperism, and beggary, if 
Englishmen could be brought to make the same 
use of their liberty and means of education that 
the Danes have of theirs, and to imitate the 
Danish virtues of prudence, sobriety, and self- 
respect. 

" But I dare say you are beginning to think 
that the polite and prudent Dane must be a very 
dull fellow. You would not think so if you 
could see him, or hear him tell a party of his 
comrades some of the old legends or fairy tales 
that are the delight t)f every Danish peasant. 
No education that he receives seems to shake his 
belief in mermaids, and troUes, and nisses, and he 
is full of stories about them." 

" Oh, please, ma'am," put in one of the boys, 
" do let us hear some of them." 

'' I will tell you one or two," I answered, ^' but 
you must remember that they are superstitions, 
and not truths. The nisses, according to the 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 127 

Danes, are little spirits who attach themselves 
to a particular village or farm-house, sometimes 
living in the farmer's loft, sometimes on his 
bridge. They do not want much food ; but three 
times a year> at Christmas, Easter, and on Mid- 
summer Day, the farmer's wife takes care to put 
some little pots of porridge outside the door for 
them. In return for this kindness they are sup- 
posed to do many good offices for the family, to 
drive away other nisses who may happen to 
have taken a fancy to the farmer's corn, and to 
keep constant watch and ward over his property. 
There is but one inmate of the house with whom 
they can never agree, and that is the watch-dog. 
The farmer's wife, however, has occasionally to 
find fault with them, for now and then it happens 
that her dairy-women churn and churn away on 
butter-making mornings, but no butter will come. 
How is this, think you ? ' Oh,' say the Danes, ' the 
nisses have sucked all the butter out of the milk.' 

'' To set against this mischievous trick, you 
must know that the nisses sometimes give the 
farmer substantial help, as in the following in- 
stance : — 

'' ' A great many years ago there came a heavy 
fall of snow ; it lay so thick upon the ground that 
no one could leave the house. [Now on a certain 
farm] the cattle were all safely housed in the 
farm-buildings, with the exception of six calves, 



128 DENMABK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

who were lodged in a shed, in a field some way off. 
After a fortnight's imprisonment the thaw came, 
and the farm-labom-ers set forth to remove, as 
they imagined, the frozen remains of the starved 
animals. Great was their surprise to find the 
little creatures not only alive, but grown fat and 
flourishing, their stalls clean and well swept. 
The nisses had taken care of them during the 
fortnight the snow lay upon the ground.'* 

" The troUes are said to be little people some- 
thing like the nisses, only more mischievous ; but 
they, too, can do their friends a good turn, and 
they are always forward in the defence of their 
country. 

'' ' The last time,' says Mr. Marryat, ' the 
troUes appeared in public was in the years '48, '49, 
'50, at the time of the Sleswig-Holstein rebellion. 
All united Germany was down upon Denmark, 
and she had lately suffered some reverses — men's 
hearts were sad — when one morning a ship ar- 
rived at the little town of Eonne. The sailors 
related how, as they passed the cliffs of Bom- 
holm by night, they had seen hundreds and thou- 
sands of the trolles busy doing military exercise 
on the heights, already prepared to rise in the 
defence of their native country. " Hurrah ! 
hurrah !" exclaimed the people ; '^ the trolles are 
out ; the trolles are up ; no fear of conquest now ; 
* Manyat's * Jutland and the Danish Isles/ 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 129 

the victory will be ours ; hurrah ! hurrah !" and 
they were at once wild with joy and delight.' 

" So much for the troUes ! Then the Danes 
tell of the mermaid, half woman, half fish, who 
lives in the sea ; of the night-raven, who comes 
out of the most dismal swamps ; and of the 
basihsk, an ugly monster, who kills people by 
only looking at them. 

" Besides stories of this sort, the Danes are 
full of legends that savour of the marvellous. 
One of them bears the useful lesson that it is 
better for us to be in God's hands than in our 
own. It is as follows : — 

" ' Once upon a time there lived in the island 
of Falster a very rich woman, who had no chil- 
dren. She wished to make a pious use of her 
fortune, so she built a beautiful church with it. 
When the church was consecrated, she entered it 
in great state, knelt down before the altar, and 
begged of God that she might be allowed to live 
as long as her church remained standing. Her 
prayer was granted. Friend after friend passed 
before her to the grave, but she lived on. War, 
and famine, and pestilence, mowed down the in- 
habitants of her island — but she lived on. The 
last friend of her youth died ; her friends' chil- 
di'en grew old and died — but she lived on. But 
when she asked for life she had forgotten to ask 
for youth, and God only granted her the letter of 



130 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

her prayer. So she grew old, and lame, and 
blind, and deaf, and her life became a burden to 
her. At last she said to her servants, '^ Put me 
into an oaken coffin, and carry me into my church, 
that I may see if I cannot die there." And they 
did as she bade them ; but their mistress did not 
die, she only grew more and more feeble. At 
length she lost her speech ; but it came back to 
her for an hour once a year, at Christmas-time. 
Every year, at that particular hour, the parson 
used to lift up the lid of her coffin, and she would 
sit up, and ask him if her church was still stand- 
ing. When he said it was, she murmured the 
words, " Would to God it were destroyed, that 
there might be an end to my misery." And then, 
sinking back into her coffin, the lid was closed 
upon her for another year.' 

" I will give you one more legend, and then we 
must return to real life. One of the most famous 
Danish heroes is named Holger : the Danes tell 
the same story of him that the Germans do of 
their emperor, Frederic Barbarossa. It is thus 
related by the historian Thiele : — ' For many ages 
the din of arms was now and then heard in the 
vaults beneath the castle of Kronborg. No man 
knew the cause, and there was not in all the land 
a man bold enough to descend into the vaults. 
At last a slave who had forfeited his life, was told 
that his crime should be forgiven if he could bring 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 131 

intelligence of what lie found in the vaults. He 
went down, and came to a large iron door, which 
opened of itself when he knocked. He found 
himself in a deep vault. In the centre of the 
ceihng hung a lamp, which was nearly burnt out ; 
and below stood a huge stone table, round which 
some steel-clad warriors sat, resting their heads 
on their arms, which they had laid crossways. 
He who sat at the head of the table then rose up. 
It was Holger the Dane. But when he raised 
his head from his arms, the stone table burst 
right in twain, for his beard had grown through 
it. " Give me thy hand," said he to the slave. 
The slave durst not give him his hand, but put 
forth an iron bar, which Holger indented with his 
fingers. At last he let go his hold, muttering, 
" It is well ! I am glad that there are yet men in 
Denmark.' " 

" If ever his country should be in dire distress, 
Holger, it is said, will come out from his dismal 
vault, and fight its battles with his enchanted 
sword, and mounted on his good steed Papillon. 

*' The fortress of Kronborg, to which this tra- 
dition belongs, and which is memorable also as 
having been the place of Queen Caroline Matilda's 
imprisonment, is situated upon the coast of 
Zealand, about twenty-four miles north of Copen- 
hagen. It is a square sandstone building, sur- 
rounded by ramparts and ornamented with four 



132 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

towers, and looks extremely well from the water ; 
but its chief glory is the view from its ramparts. 
A traveller who visited it one summer's evening, 



" ^ It was indeed a scene of surpassing beauty ; 
one that, I believe, cannot be witnessed in any 
other part of Europe. Beneath lay the Sound, 
like a broad still river, gradually widening to the 
right and left; innumerable vessels, which had 
come both from the Cattegat and the Baltic with 
light west winds, were now becalmed, and stood 
motionless upon the liquid plain, every ship 
imaged in the water as distinctly as if it had been 
propped upon a mirror. The sails of some few 
were set, if haply they might catch a breath of 
air to bring them into good anchorage. Many 
boats were still skimming among the vessels, their 
dripping oars flashing silver at every stroke. 
Across rose the rocky coast of Sweden, every 
object upon it distinctly visible; while on the 
Danish side the island of Zealand lay stretched 
like a garden in all the luxuriance of mature 
summer, and beneath the soft light of an August 
sunset.'* 

'^ Poor Caroline Matilda is said to have spent 
many an hour of her captivity at Kronborg in 
gazing on this view. 

* *A Journey through Norway, Sweden, and Denmark,' 
by Derwent Conway. 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 133 

" The town of Elsinore, adjoining Kronborg, is 
said by Shakspeare to have witnessed some of 
Hamlet's most tragic adventures, and a little 
mound near the town is pointed out to strangers 
as Hamlet's tomb ; but as I told you in speaking 
about Jutland, Danish historians believe that 
Shakspeare has used a httle poetical licence in 
his version of the tale, and that the true Hamlet's 
castle was on an island in the Liimfiord. 

" A few miles south of Elsinore is Frederics- 
borg, the most splendid of all the Danish palaces. 
It is built in a truly Danish position^ on three 
little islets in the middle of a lake. The islets, 
which are joined by bridges^ are completely 
covered by the buildings^ so that the walls seem 
to rise out of the water. The palace is built of 
red brick with stone copings^ and is an admirable 
specimen of what is called the Eenaissance style 
of architecture, that is, the style that was used in 
England about the time of Queen Elizabeth, and 
that is often called from her, Elizabethan. The 
varied outline of Fredericsborg — presenting here 
a turret, there an oriel window, here a spire, and 
there a gable — is eminently picturesque ; but the 
most celebrated lions of the palace were its carved 
ceilings, its gallery of historical portraits, and the 
splendid ornaments of its chapel and riddersaal. 
These, I am sorry to say, are no more. A dis- 
astrous fire that broke out on the 17th of De- 



134 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 

cember^ 1859, burnt down the finest part of the 
palace ; its exterior has been restored by the 
voluntary contributions of the Danish people, but 
its lost art treasures can never be replaced. 

'' Fredericsborg is about twenty miles to the 
north of Copenhagen. On the same side of the 
city, but much nearer it, just beyond the Deer 
Park in fact, the traveller may notice a plain and 
not very large gentleman's house. This is Bem- 
storf Palace, so called after its builder, the be- 
nevolent Count Bernstorf, who was the first 
Danish nobleman to raise the condition of the 
peasantry on his estate, by freeing them from 
their serfdom. But the chief point of interest 
about Bernstorf Palace to us is, that it is the 
country seat in which the Princess Alexandra 
used to spend the summer months during her 
early years. Here it was that she first enjoyed 
the pleasures of a country life, wandering among 
the noble beech-woods of the Deer Park, admir- 
ing the beautiful views of the Sound that lay 
at her feet, with its bright waters and passing 
ships, and interesting herself in the hopes and 
fears, the joys and sorrows of the peasantry on 
her father's estate. 

" They learnt to appreciate her gentle and 
benevolent disposition long before it was known 
to us, and when she was about to leave them, 
they came to wish her ^God speed,'* bringing 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 135 

with them a farewell offering of a porcelain vase. 
Since that day the Princess of Wales has received 
many a royal and a costly gift, but we venture to 
say, that few of her wedding presents will ]:)ear a 
higher value in the eyes of the English people 
than the porcelain vase, that tells of the love and 
respect their Princess won in her early days, from 
the peasantry of her native land. 

'^ And now, having but a few minutes more to 
spend over the Danish Isles, suppose we employ 
them in tracing the route of the Princess in her 
journey towards England. Starting from the 
railway station at Copenhagen, she crossed the 
island of Zealand from east to west, making a 
short stop at the two principal stations on the 
road, namely Eoeskilde and Eingsted. No places 
could have been more appropriate for recalling to 
her mind the ancient history and legends of her 
people. 

''Eoeskilde was formerly the capital of Den- 
mark, a distinction it did not lose till the middle 
of the fifteenth century. It is built upon the 
banks of a fiord that is famous in old Danish 
story. I give it you as one more specimen of 
what the simple-minded peasants still believe. 
The legend states, that once upon a time there 
lived in Eoeskilde Fiord a horrible sea-monster, 
' who ravaged the country, feeding on mariners 
and young maidens.' Every means that the in- 



136 DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE, 

habitants could think of, were tried, to destroy 
him or drive him away, but without the sHghtest 
effect. At last some one suggested that a holy 
relic might be of use, and the head of St. Lucius 
the martyr was procured from Kome. With fear 
and trembling the inhabitants carried it down to 
the shore, and leaving it there, retreated, to watch 
its effect upon the monster. But he did not 
come; the very news of its arrival had been 
enough for him, and from that time Eoeskilde 
Fiord has been freed from his presence. Of 
course St. Lucius was taken as the patron saint 
of Eoeskilde. 

"The cathedral, dedicated to him, owes its 
origin to an English bishop, William by name, 
who lived not far from, the time of Canute the 
Great. Bishop William was a man whose name 
deserves to be handed down with honour, as one 
who set an example to his generation, of fearing 
God rather than man. 

" Soon after the cathedral was built, King 
Sweyn, the nephew of Canute, took offence at the 
jesting words of some of his courtiers, and ordered 
them to be instantly put to death, though they 
were then attending mass in the cathedral. The 
morning after the bloody deed, King Sweyn sig- 
nified his intention of coming to high mass, but 
Bishop William met him at the cathedral door, 
and laying his crozier across the entrance, forbade 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 137 

him to pass over it, declaring that his presence 
would pollute the house of Grod. The king's 
attendants drew their swords, and would have 
acted the part of Thomas a Becket's murderers, 
had not the king himself prevented them. The 
bishop's fearless conduct had touched his con- 
science^ and, retiring mournfully to his palace, he 
wept and prayed, clothed himself in sackcloth, 
and fasted for three days. Then he returned to 
the cathedral, still in the garb of mourning, and 
stood humbly at the gateway, till he was met by 
the bishop. William received him this time with 
open arms, heard his confession, and restored him 
to full communion with the Church. 

" From this time the king and the bishop were 
the greatest friends, and William is said to have 
declared that he could never survive his master. 
One day the news arrived at Eoeskilde that the 
king was dead, and that his corpse was on its way 
to the cathedral. The bishop ordered two graves 
to be prepared, and then set out to meet the 
funeral procession. As it approached, he knelt 
down, and crossed his hands upon his breast; 
and when his attendants went to raise him up he 
was dead. 

'' Besides the graves of Bishop William and 
King Sweyn, Eoeskilde cathedral contains the 
tombs of the monarchs who have reigned in Den- 
mark during the last four hundred and fifty 



138 DENMARK AJSTD ITS PEOPLE. 

years, from Margaret, Qneen of Denmark, Sweden, 
and Norway, who died in 1412, to the father of 
the late king: some of the monuments erected 
to their memory are of great beauty. 

''In old books Eoeskilde is found written as 
Eothschild, and under this form it has given a 
name to the eminent Jewish family so called, 
whose ancestors emigrated from Denmark in the 
eighteenth century. 

" The abbey church of Kingsted is smaller 
than the cathedral of Eoeskilde^ but it contains 
the tombs of twenty of the earlier kings and 
queeiis of Denmark. Eoeskilde has sometime 
been called the Windsor, and Eingsted the West- 
minster Abbey, of Denmark. Among the crowned 
heads that lie in Eingsted are Waldemar the 
Victorious and his two wives, Dagmar the Good, 
and Bengerd the Bad. A few years ago their 
tombs were opened, and it was then that the 
Dagmar cross was taken from the neck of the 
good queen. As for Bengerd, when her cofiin 
was opened, a large round stone was found in the 
place of her head, which the people, in their 
hatred of her misdeeds, had cut off after her 
death. The peasants, down to the last genera- 
tion, were accustomed to mark their love of the 
good queen and their detestation of the bad by a 
curious custom. On entering the abbey church 
of Eingsted, they would drop on one knee and 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 139 

murmur a prayer at the tomb of Dagmar, and 
then rising with a ^ God bless you, good queen !' 
they would turn to the other side, and spit upon 
the stone that covers the remains of the wicked 
Bengerd. 

" But to return to the route of the Princess. 
From Eingsted the royal train passed on to the 
railway terminus at Korsoer, the western port of 
Zealand, where the good steamship Slesvig was in 
waiting, to convey the bridal party across the 
waters of the Belt to Kiel. There they again 
entered the train, and crossed the Duchy of Hol- 
stein to Altona, the last town in the Danish 
dominions. And at this point, where the Prin- 
cess took leave of her fatherland, so will we, 
wishing her all joy and blessing in her adopted 
home, and her native country peace and prosperity 
for her sake. 

''In conclusion, boys, I have to express my 
regret that, from not having been in Denmark 
myself^I. have been unable to place some of its 
features before you 'as vividly as I should have 
liked. I hope, however, that what I have been 
able to glean on your behalf from the books of 
many travellers, will at least have had the effect 
of giving you some idea of Denmark and its 
people, and of exciting your interest in a country 
which, to use the words of one of our ablest 
statesmen, 'is a small country, but a country 



140 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 



with the most resolute, determined, honest, and 
honourable population. She is a country,' con- 
tinued Lord Derby, ' in which there is a large, 
perhaps the largest, amount of personal and po- 
litical freedom of any country in Europe next to 
our own; and she is a country, moreover, well 
disposed to England. Whatever interruption of 
our friendship there may have been from time to 
time, we may hope that a tie recently formed may 
connect us still more closely together. She has 
interests, feelings, and aflfections with this coun- 
try, and small as she is, yet the character of her 
people, her great power in comparison with her 
population, and her geographical position on the 
map of Europe, in case of a European war, 
would render her an important ally even for 
England.'"* 

When I had finished speaking, Tom Eule was 
deputed by the class to thank me for what I had 
told them about Denmark ; and as the lads went 
out of the room, not one of them forgot to give me 
a bow and a " Grood-night," in a manner which 
made me think they had more or less taken to 
heart my hint about politeness. It did not weigh 
heavily upon their spirits, however, for as soon as 
they were outside I heard them break out into the 
well-known chorus : — 

* Lord Derby's speech in the House of Lords, May loth, 
1863, in a debate upon the Sleswig-Holstein question. 



& 



DENMARK AND ITS PEOPLE. 141 

" God save Prince Christian's daughter, 
Prince Albert Edward's bride ; 
The Danish flag and England's 
Henceforth float side by side. 

** To her, that lovely Princess, 
We look with pride and joy ; 
May never sorrow darken, 
Nor fate those hopes destroy. 

" Then let the prayer re-echo, 
Among our hills and dales ; 
God bless fair Alexandra ! 

God bless the Prince of Wales !" 



THE END. 



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